Microsoft search falls far short

Microsoft search falls far short

NEW YORK — Microsoft Corp. isn’t often an underdog in anything, so when the software powerhouse released its new search engine, I was anxious to give it a whirl. First the good news: MSN Search has a few features that go beyond Google — laudable given Google’s formidable head start.

Now the verdict: Mr. Bill Gates, you’re no Google. I won’t be changing my search engine of choice.

Granted, the new MSN is still in a “beta” test phase — a work in progress. Early next year, Microsoft is expected to make the technology part of its main MSN site, replacing the Yahoo-powered search engine it now uses. By then, it might have resolved some of the troubles I had.

For now, it’s generally disappointing.

Among the MSN Search features that Google lacks are three graphical levers that help you refine searches. One moves between “exact match” and “approximate match,” while others control results based on how often a site is updated or how popular it is.

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