The future of Live Search (or how it should be)


The key to success in companies like Google and Yahoo! comes from their web search, of all things. Many people like to use Google search to find stuff. I admit, they do a great job of indexing and ranking the sites. I don’t know how algorithms work and whatever, but obviously Google has a good one (probably because lots of people use it). So I think the key to get some people to like Windows Live is to introduce a better search engine. Or at least one that would eventually gain that status. So I’ve thought about some ways Windows Live Search could improve. Here’s how it should work:

Web Search (the most important of them all):

  • Digg like ranking of search results – Sometimes, the search just isn’t what I want. It also kind of makes me mad that the exact site I want is the 2nd result, or is buried under 6 other results. So how about giving users the option to rank which site is good or bad? I don’t mean like there’s going to be 6,000 diggs for this certain site. I mean ranking on each site in the results. Like if this site I want under "computers" is the 7th results, and I want it to be number 2, I keep pressing the thumb’s up button until it reaches the result 2 status. Or if this site is cruddy, I could push it towards the bottom. Based on what other users are choosing, maybe the Live algorithm could understand it, and keep sites the way most people want it. Although there’s probably going to have to be some kind of limit or set of rules that will prevent Google bombing. So maybe giving the most highest users of Live Search the option to do the Digg ranking of search results? I don’t know how exactly it could work, but I would love this feature. Maybe Windows Live could partner with Digg to allow that type of feature in search results. That would be awesome. But they’re probably going to have to pay big bucks. They could make their own, and use a up and down button instead of thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Whatever it is, I want something like that in search results. 
  • Favicons next to each search result – Favicons would help many users spot which website they want immediately. If you don’t know, favicons are a logo for a specific website in the URL. Integrating it into the search results makes a specific site easier to find. Hopefully favicons won’t be squashed, or in low detail. 
  • Spam button – If you press a disgusting link (done this several times), and it’s probably a place most users would avoid, just press the spam button. Much more easier than going through feedback, and having to go through stuff to identify a spam site. I’m thinking of a button that either has the word "spam" in it, or a button with a red flag, meant as ‘flag the site’ to show it has spam or something bad. 
  • Website image and does it. You know, in the search results, some of the more popular sites will have a preview image of that site, so you can identify it as being exactly the site you’re looking for. It could be updated hourly, or something. I’m thinking that every favicon that has a website image preview available, should have a golden border around the favicon square. Then if you hover over the favicon, you get one of those website image previews. I don’t think it’s something that Windows Live could do on their own. They probably either need to buy, or partner with it. That’s what I think. It’s probably easier to buy it though. Or buy (I seriously doubt).
  • Numbered results – Not too important. But some people would like their results numbered, so that if they flip back to the search results page, they can identify which numbers they have already done. I’m thinking of just a round circle with a number in it, the same kind of round circle icon as in Instant Answers. Although, I’m not sure what the 10,000th result circle icon would look like. Or I doubt anyone actually would travel that far in search results. They could probably stop the numbered results at 100 or 1,000.
  • Dashed lines to separate different search results – Dashed lines are a Web 2.0 way of separating different ideas, under the same thing. The dashed part is separating the results, so you can differentiate them, but their still under the same search so their still similar. That’s why it’s a dashed line, and not a solid line. Anyways, it’s just more aesthetic, and a better way of doing it. It just looks better.

There’s other stuff, I want on the web results side, but it probably wouldn’t be too important to the Windows Live team.

Image Search:

  • Image ranking by users – like I’ve said before, let users rank pictures based on whether it should be at the top or bottom.
  • ‘Flag’ button – Sometimes there’s completely inappropriate image to even an innocent image search. So there should be a ‘Flag’ button to alert Windows Live about it.

That’s about it. For the most part, Image search is actually pretty better compared to Google and Yahoo!. Especially the scratchpad. I just think that if they offered a very nice official tour of Image Search, and advertise about it’s scratchpad feature, it would definitely get some users.

News Search:

  • No ranking system – It probably wouldn’t be right to rank constantly changing news searches. It wouldn’t make too much sense to me. Plus Digg already does that.
  • More news search options – I wish there was a more better way of getting the news that you want. I want an option of the right side of the page (thankfully, there’s no ads on News search) where I can filter out my search even more clearly. Like I could choose "Sort by Date" or "Sort by relevance". I could put check marks on the news sources that I only want from the ones that Windows Live does provide. How about filtering results from the "last hour" "the last day" or even "the past week"? Maybe offer an archives for news to search through? How about throwing a big RSS icon button, to get the latest feeds on this search? Or even having it for Windows Live Alerts? Something like that maybe?
  • Favicon or logo of each news site next to results – Some people would love to quickly identify which site they’re going to press for news. A favicon or a logo (even better) would be helpful. Maybe News Search could have a page giving a brief bio of each news site they provide. That would be awesome.

Pretty much, just give more ways for me to filter the exact news I want, and maybe a logo next to each news site to quickly identify what I want.

Maps Search:

It’s pretty much ok. It seems to get the right results. I don’t really see how this one can improve. Although I don’t really like the web results right under the Maps results. There’s a reason why there’s a web search and a map search.

Classifieds search:

Another thing, I really can’t relate to, too much. I don’t really use it. Although Windows Live Expo could use some more work. It’s seems ok, but I think it can do better than what it looks like right now. I don’t know too much about it to make a real opinion.

Local Search: This one seems pretty much similar to Maps Search. I don’t really see a difference. Except that I think think Maps Search take you directly to the Live Maps program, and Local Search just gives you a list of restaurants with a non-interactive Live Maps. Maybe advertise and try to get more people to review restaurants and stores? I see a real lack of any user involvement in reviews of places. That’s all I can think of.

Other search engines:

Academic search: Not much to say. Just offer more content variety, and try to loosen the providers and get them to allow the full text. It also looks kind of bland? Could you liven up the UI with a new Windows Live UI kind of thing (pun – liven, Windows Live)

Books Search: I already gave my review of it

Feeds Search: I haven’t tried it before. It looks ok. Each result gave me an option to add it to my IE7 RSS feeds. I don’t know much about it to give a true opinion.

Live Product Search: It’s an awful mess. Really. The page is real mangled on my browser. I also hate it when there’s no images. It’s just so messy. Windows Live icons won’t show up. This should stay in beta, and not move out for a long time.

QnA search: I wish you could search also by tags, keywords in question, or keywords in description. Also, maybe a QnA user search. Maybe a Windows Live Alerts for any new question (doubt anyone would actually do that)? I think anytime there’s a RSS option, there should also be a Windows Live Alerts option.

Video Search: Pretty much the same comment I gave about giving more search option to filter out the ones you don’t want. I might look specifically for a YouTube video, or a Brightcove video. I might want a Flash one, or one that’s longer than 5 minutes. Just give me more options to filter the results I don’t want. Plus a nice page about all your (main) providers and a quick bio would be nice, if we’re new to one of them. A logo next to each video site to easily recognize it.

Other improvements to the Windows Live Search:

  • Options and Advance should move to the top right of the page – to easily find it, and be more easily seen. Plus it looks better there.
  • International flags displayed at the top right – probably at the left or above the sign-in/sign-out area. To more easily recognize which country you’re searching from. A Brazilian might consider this search term different from an American’s or Mexican’s idea of what it means. So international search should be more recognized this way. And flag icons of a country are best. Country names in text don’t get as much noticed as a flag icon.
  • QnA advertising gets annoying – the little "Didn’t find an answer? Ask a real person on Live QnA" message under search results is annoying. QnA is still a beta, and isn’t as even fully done as Yahoo! Answers. So they should wait until it’s out of beta, and in better service, before pushing QnA.
  • The Windows Live Orb resolution – At 100% on my IE7, it looks ok. But if increase it any more than that, you’ll see it get more low-res compared to everything else. They really need to fix the resolution on that Windows Live orb icon. It’s hideous at increasing magnification.
  • More searches – Even though I just ran down a lengthy list, there could still be some more searches that Windows Live could make. How about a blog search engine? They could partner with Technorati and get lots of blogs (hopefully it’s fast). Lyrics search engine? So far, there’s no really other search engine that seems to do this. Actually, MSN Music should have official song lyrics on their site. Because most other lyrics sites, are full of spam, and sometimes not even the right lyrics. MSN Music or Zune Marketplace should offer lyrics. Or Windows Live could make a lyrics search engine. I would choose the first option.

That’s about it. Windows Live also needs to finish and work on those betas faster. It’s taking too long. I think if the Windows Live team could try what I suggest, and widely advertise it very well, they might get some new users. That’s what I have to say. Please comment.


I haven’t posted in awhile – sorry

I haven’t posted in awhile, but I’ll get working on it. I’m working on another post right now. It’s going to be about what I think should be the future of Live search (or any web search). I even drew some of my own pictures. Since I’m not good at PhotoShop (or even have it). So I’m working on some pictures and sketches. I think I’m a good doodler, so they won’t be that bad.

What do you think will be the future of web search? Put a comment. I would love to hear them.

New Xbox 360 Homepage!


I was breezing through some sites, when I stopped by the Xbox site. They’ve completely redone it. It is somewhat better, I’ll admit. The old one wasn’t bad though. I like how the layout is much more clearer. There’s also a more obvious integration of other Microsoft properties on it. Like I see ads for Zune, Games for Windows, and other stuff. Pretty neat. While the other content on that site, aren’t any more Web 2.0, it does look somewhat cleaner, and easy to filter.So I think they did a good job on the revamp.

I’ve always thought the Xbox 360 site, was kind of bland compared to the Wii site, and PS3 site, but at least they’ve improved. Although I do wish they could’ve added some more like. Like the country’s international flags displayed at the top bar, instead of the text of the country. Much more easier to see that way. Plus make some of the game pages show a more Web 2.0 look, instead of boring bland text and boxes. And some other intergration stuff. More flash, and fun. I don’t know, I’m no expert on sites.

So overall, this was a good revamp, and hopefully there’ll be more nice things coming our way.

PC’s in general


I already wrote a post before about how PC’s could improve, but I thought I should go into exactly what is wrong right now with PC’s. I have a Sony Vaio SZ and a MacBook Pro. They both work great. No problems at all. Those two are top-of-the-line products. It’s probaly every other PC makers dream to be within those standards. But they aren’t. Here’s what frustrates most people about the way PC’s are made and done:

  1. Low-budget computers – These are the worst. The absolute worst. They should be avoided completely. Actually, they should stop being built, is what I should say. Dell, HP and some other makers love to market these kind. They’re cheap and they work is how they advertise. Not really, though. They don’t always work, because since it’s running on low configurations, it doesn’t work as great. These users run into frequent problems. Then it’s not so cheap when you have to go through tech support, help, and eventually buy a new ‘better’ PC, and trash the old one. Low-budget computers are a waste of money and time is what they are. It’s tiring to hear that PC’s are thought of this in general. It’s only because so many people think that these computers are worth using, because they’re cheap and work. These are the kind of users who don’t care about computers, or use them that much. Or have much knowledge of them either. Unfortunately, PC makers love to take advantage of this, and get these kind of people to buy that crap. Then when users are frustrated so much, they’ll have to resort to buying another one, which the company conviently gives a discount or some kind of nice way, to get one of their ‘more better’ lines. That’s a cheat! Instead of making these horrible computers, how about only making ones that are actually good? Even if someone is poor, or can’t afford a computer of quality, I’m quite sure that they could save up a whole lot, or have PC makers offering nice ways to get some of their better brands. Instead of resorting novice users to buy the cheap ones. Cheap computers should go away completely. They run into problems all the time, and make the PC vendors look bad. Apple and Sony usually make computers of high quality. Dell, HP, and others don’t have to do that, but at least don’t make crappy products. I would say that computers users should buy mid-range to high-end computers instead of low-end crap.
  2. Too many computers and weird names from one maker – What’s a Acer TravelMate 6460-6263? Or a Asus A8JR-4P021C? Dell Inspiron E1505? Gateway NX57OX? HP Pavilion dv6500t? Those are some names of some pretty great Vista laptops from LAPTOP magazine. But most likely, people haven’t heard of them, or can even remember them. So why would they bother with them? Probably because they don’t care. There seems to be too many choices to pick from, from each vendor. How do I know which one is better? Besides the price? The thing is, I probably wouldn’t. Unless you’re a tech geek, or something of that kind. To me, they all look the same, all seem the same, and are probably the same, except for maybe a different resolution size, or maybe a slightly bigger screen, or maybe 1 extra feature, or maybe a more nicer feel, and all of them have probably different names from the same maker. It’s kind of ridiculous. Names are another thing. It’s easy for a Mac user to yell out that he has a MacBook Pro. Would someone yell out that he has a Dell Inspiron E1705? No way. Number one, he probably wouldn’t even remember the whole name. Number 2, he probably wouldn’t even want to yell it out, probably because it’s embarassing. That’s the truth. PC makers should just have a couple of different notebooks (no more than 10 different types) and with friendier, easy-to-remember names. If they can’t have simplicity in what they have to offer, people are going to get tired of that, and switch to Macs completely.
  3. Adware – That’s the most annoying thing for a computer user. Most likely we don’t want it, care about it, or want to bother with it. So there’s pretty much no point in putting it on there, or we’re just going to hate them and their product. Plus the fact that they could have harmful spyware and whatnot, is another thing that wants me to kill them. It may pull down the cost of the computer, but if they had the option to come without it, even for a higher price, I would most likely go for it. But there usually isn’t that option. So they should kill them away. The most annoying one on my Dell computer is Google. Google’s ok for web search, but not on my computer. The fact that Google is known for stealing/keeping user privacy is creepy, even on the web. Putting that on my computer makes that even worse. It took me weeks to get it off the radar. Actually, I just updated to IE7, and it was gone. Thank goodness. So PC makers should stop selling adware, and just put that darn higher price for it. Most people are probably going to opt to pay higher, rather than deal with low quality.
  4. Design – I’ll touch this briefly. Basically, most PC designs are awful (with the exception of Sony). They look bland, the same, boring, ugly, and tons of awful adjectives (this mainly fits Dell’s profile). I’m talking about the looks, configuration, and all that into how it was made. It’s just usually not good. The best from each maker is usually their high-end stuff. Unfortunately, they’re either too expensive, or they’re just not marketed enough. As a result, almost no one buys them. Too bad for them. PC makers should just work on hiring real designers, and make their computers look nice, and work nice. I don’t see how I have to even go into that. Or at least they should stop selling the very worst, and semi-worse.

My opinions probably aren’t going to change the world, but at least this is what I think PC makers should do to better compete in the market. Or else they’re doom to lose to Apple.

Why Live Search is still staying in the 10% level

In case you haven’t noticed, as of May 2007 (and probably so on), Google sites have 50.7% of internet search users, Yahoo! sites have 26.4%, Microsoft sites have 10.3% (didn’t rise), Ask network had 5.1%, AOL had 5.0%.

So Google is still the top dog, Yahoo!’s 2nd. And yet again, MSN/Windows Live is 3rd. It’s been like that for years. Most people use Google just because it works. That’s all there is. Most of their search is very relevant. All the other search engines have pretty much relevant results too (although sometimes it doesn’t get it, just sometimes). It’s just that Google made it first, and they’re probaly going to stay first until someone does something groundbreaking. Other engines came, and although they did just the same as Google’s results, they just couldn’t gain the popularity that Google already started. It’s even a word, as in the verb. Google – to search the web. So unless someone does something so new, people are staying with Google. Practically no other search engine really has something that’s going to make people switch (except maybe, but it’s unlikely). If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it. That’s the rule that most people keep with Google.

So why isn’t Live Search gaining more users? I personally use Live Search. It does a great job for the most part, has a clean nice UI, and is quick. I just use it, because I think it’s somewhat better. Maybe not in search, but in the other little stuff. But why aren’t they gaining more people? I finally came to some conclusions:

  1. Nothing really innovative – Live results come nice and clean. And for the most part, relevant, but that’s it. It may have a great UI, clean layout, and even some great results (think Instant Answers), but that’s not enough to get people. There’s a ton of ways, that I think search results could be much better, but obviously Live Search (or any other search) isn’t thinking about them. I know some things that would truly make search a whole lot better, but no one seems to be thinking of them. So, there’s nothing too new, and nothing to great, which is why Live Search isn’t gaining as Microsoft thought it would be. Even I thought that Windows Live would win some more people. But I guess not. If they’re nothing to amaze people, nobody’s going to bother trying it, or staying with it.
  2. The ads just aren’t working – Windows Live/MSN does have some ads. But not a lot. Plus, they’re kind of boring. Most of them are web ads. Links and color ads on the web. They did do some on some British newspapers, and are doing one for movie previews in Canada, but that’s not enough. Most web ads get avoided by people. People fear that the ads might release something awful onto their computer, so they avoid them altogether. Plus they could care less. So Windows Live ads are probaly going to fail in that sector. Then it’s what the ads have on them. The ads don’t do a good job of showing how Windows Live is better. They show some neat stuff, but they don’t compare it to other search engines. If they were real competitive, than they should target other search engines, and show how Windows Live is better. Instant Answers, clean layout, nice UI, that kind of stuff. Compare it directly to other search engines. Plus they need more different ad formats. One day, when Windows Live and MSN do things really right, then they should launch a big ad campaign. Like AT&T does. Be everywhere. Not just web ads, but on TV ads, product placement in TV shows and movies, partnerships with other websites and organizations, throwing big bashes in major cities, sponsoring events, and tons of stuff to get their name across the U.S. Of course, when Windows Live/MSN is ready (which in mind, they’re personally not good enough to get people over). So they should show direct comparisons with it’s competitors, and launch a gigantic ad campaign.
  3. No hype, no interest, nothing – One way a newbie in the market can get lots of people to come to them, is by word of mouth. That’s how Google came to be. They really didn’t have to advertise themselves. They did something the industry hadn’t seen before, and as a result, they got lots of users today. That’s how most newbies who really want to be something do it, they get people vey interested, and people talk about it a lot. Then theyu deliver, and bam! They’ve got users. Unfortnately, Windows Live/MSN really has nothing to brag about. So they really can’t get anything out of it, unless they’ve got something. That the whole world could care about.
  4. No strong international indentity – Windows Live/MSN also doesn’t have much of an influence in international countries outside the U.S.. For most international users, it’s just for good use as a IM, and e-mail. Otherwise than that, other users in different countries care less about what they have. Compared to U.S. content, content in other countries is scarce. Services and search are a low for those countries. Live Search is not pushing to be the best in other countries. This is probaly due to the fact that Live Search just isn’t getting too many users here as well. Hopefully they can make their international brand more stronger.

So that’s the 3 main problems with MSN/Windows Live: Nothing really great about it, Not so great ads, and Nothing too interesting about it that people would love to think about. So until they can do something about those 3 problems, MSN/Windows Live is going nowhere.

Of course, I’ve got tons of ideas (some that could change the world), and I wouldn’t mind going to Microsoft Corp. to share them. Since Microsoft has the potential of making them real. So if there’s any Microsoftie that would like to talk to me, go ahead. I’m waiting.

What I hate about MSN Soapbox

  + = NOT SO GOOD!

Even thought MSN Soapbox is a more wholesome experience than YouTube, it doesn’t come without it’s own share of problems. So I listed some of the things that irks me in Soapbox. Here’s the list:

  1. Character/any limits – There’s lot of limits in Soapbox. A big one is no copyrighted content (which means for now, no real music videos). Then there’s the amount of text you are allowed to enter. YouTube has some, but not as strict as Soapbox. Here’s how it all bends (each # represents characters or something else): Title limit – YouTube:60, Soapbox:80;  Video description – YouTube:Endless, Soapbox:400 (big disadvantage); Tags – YouTube:Endless, Soapbox:5 (another big disadvantage); Categories – YouTube:12, Soapbox 16; Comments – YouTube:500, Soapbox:1000 (big advantage). Overall, as you see, Soapbox has a pretty crummy disadvantage to YouTube here. That’s why it’s kinda awful.
  2. Video uploads – While it’s very easy to upload it (just enter some personal video data, and loading is quik), it’s the processing the video that just kills me. Soapbox really seems to hate music videos (the #1 thing that made YouTube popular). They enacted some not-so-nice copyright laws, and the only music videos are the ones made before the whole law came into effect. So that virtually means there’s a scarcity of music videos. And this probably won’t win any YouTube users over. If you attempt it, you just get a dark spot where the video’s suppose to be labeled "Copyright Violation". Not very nice. The least Soapbox can do, is to work with content providers like YouTube does. YouTube worked with Universal Music Group and now they’ve got tons of music videos on that site. All official. Could Soapbox concoct something like that? With Universal or some other recording company? I also tried posting ‘covers’ of music videos. Or people singing their own versions of a well-known song (and they’re quite good sometimes). I tried, and the 2 videos I put on, came up with "Failed". I tried doing them both at least 5 times, and they still failed. I don’t know why. It’s not a copyright thing, since it didn’t say "Copyright Violation", so what? Ugh. Then I tried posting an IZOD ad, and one of them worked. But the 2nd one didn’t. Is that how it’s going to be when beta’s over? Videos processing problems go nonstop? That’s the biggest issue to me. If a person can’t put up content, and Soapbox doesn’t have good content, what’s going to pull anyone over?

That’s pretty much the major things that has me going bananas with Soapbox. If they could stop with the overprotective copyrights, or allow it in a way to benefit users, I would be happy. If they don’t do something about it, practically Soapbox won’t any YouTube successor. That’s just the plain truth. I’ve also made a list of minor things that I would love to see Soapbox do:

  1. Make ‘tags’ stand out like tags – Tags work pretty much the way they would do on any other site. I just also wish they would make a tag bigger if it’s something sought after most often, or use tag size to show popularity. Tags are all the same size on Soapbox, so it’s not really that interesting. Like I said, it’s just a small thing that I would like to see be fixed.
  2. More graphical icons – Instead of just boring text, and real photos to represent something, how about a recognizable icon to make it stand out. Like on the ‘Categories’ tab, you see 16 different categories with 16 real life pictures (video frames) depicting it. Some of it makes sense, like ‘Sports’ has a soccer field video frame, ‘Autos’ has a race car video frame, and so on. But then there’s the weird ones like ‘Screencast’ showing some computer digits (101100110 – that kind) in a space, ‘Entertainment’ has some undistinguishable video frame, and ‘Games’ show something that I too can’t see real well. How about graphical icons to replace them. Like for ‘Sports’ there could be a basketball, baseball, bat, football, and a soccer ball clumped together, ‘Technology’ has a big computer monitor, generic cell phone, and a generic MP3 player, ‘Movies’ has a bucket of popcorn with a movie clapper, and other stuff like that. White lines on black background would look nice. Just make them look icon-ish, you know?
  3. Remove branding off video description – Under each video is 3 tabs: This Video, Comments, Tags. Under ‘This Video", the first thing right under it, is a "soapbox on MSN Video" logo. And then under that, would be the video title and description. I don’t see why they really need to put a big "MSN Soapbox logo right there. It’s all throughout the site, especially on the top left of the site. You can’t miss it. So is there a point to throwing it on the video description? I don’t really think so. We can do without it. It’s best if it was taken off.
  4. ‘Spotlight Feature’ on homepage view – When I get into, MSN Soapbox, the first thing I see is some already displayed videos. Most likely featured ones. Put could they put more emphasis on that? And post other unique content stuff on the homepage. Like Video spotlight, User spotlight, something along those lines.
  5. More categories – I never liked having to choose from a list of categories to ‘label’ my video. Tags seemed perfectly fine on their own to me. As long as I have more than 5 to express my video. Sometimes, my video doesn’t fit any specified category. Like if I take some clips around the school, there’s not an exact school category for it. The closest I could put it too, was blog. Since it was like a personal piece. There’s a reason why tags are considered Web 2.0 and categories aren’t. It’s because tags are better. They define each piece better, then clumping them into one specific thing. So maybe they could put more categories, or let people make their own. Like an Xbox video could go under an Xbox category. People can make them, and if one already exists, they’ll simply use that one. And Soapbox could make special logos for them. Something along those lines. Or just get rid of Categories altogether. Most people just search for something anyways. And that’s how tags come in handy.
  6. Be more responsive – For the most part, Soapbox is very responsive. It works slick and quik. Although sometimes there’s that momentary glitch, and you have to wait a long while. Not really anything specific I’m talking about. Just try to make Soapbox more responsive, and hit less snags.
  7. Soapbox name change? – Just a thought really. I mean, I don’t get why Soapbox is called Soapbox? When I think of soapbox, I think of political platforms, soapbox derby, and along those lines. Not a place to share videos. So I’m wondering, why Soapbox? MSN Video was already taken by MSN’s form of MSN site content videos. So couldn’t they just simply combine the two, and name it MSN Video altogether? But I guess Soapbox has more of a ring than MSN Video does. But I don’t think Soapbox was the best. There probably could have been something better.

Thanks Owen Trutner

It’s great to hear feedback on my site. Especially considering that I gave feedback to his site. I wrote a post about how Live Books search is better than Google Book Search. Today, I got a message in my Spaces inbox, from Oren Trutner (no Spaces link or anything). I don’t think he’ll mind if I repost the letter:

"Michael, I loved reading your blog entry comparing Google’s and Live’s book search sites. This is a great analysis. I can say that many of the suggestions you mentioned for the Live book search site are lined up for the next release, later this year. Performance will definitely get better. I hope we can get much of the rest into the product sometime in the future.

-and thank you for taking the time to write thoughtful feedback on the Live book search site and on your blog.

Oren Trutner

Live Search Books team, Microsoft"

It’s great to hear that I made a difference, sort of. It also feels good that a Windows Live employee took the time to write me a friendly letter thanking me for giving thoughtful feedback. It means that Microsoft actually listens to feedback. That’s a great sign. Plus, the fact that a statement on the feedback site says that they can’t always provide a personal response. But the fact that he did, shows Windows Live cares. I just wish there was more feedback on this site. I can’t help but wonder sometimes, if anyone actually reads this blog, at all. I just blog sometimes, because I believe that if someone puts it out there, then someone will read it. And it might make a difference. So if you have any feedback or want to give comments about my blog (looks, content or anything), go ahead and do it. It’ll make me feel great that there’s some readers.