Live.com Goes Live Microsoft announced yesterday that their live.com and Live Search are out of beta in 47 markets worldwide.
Will I use it? Probably not. But maybe. I tried live.com back when Microsoft launched it and could never really get excited about it. It felt like My Yahoo! to me which is something that I abandoned a long time ago. What I’d like to know is how live.com helps me and integrates all of the things that I want to see on the internet in a meaningful way. Zoooomr, Flickr, Delicious, upcoming.org, Technorati, Pandora, blogger, Techmeme, my sitemeter account, my 30 Boxes calendar, digg, Redit, Skype, Google Maps etc. Give me a great way to find podcasts or here’s an easy one. You already own Media Center, deliver *that* to me through live.com. Where is something like Orb?
Quite frankly I could care less about things like Safety Center, Expo, MSN, Shoping and Spaces.
As far as search goes, I think live.com does reasonably good web search. But the problem is that if they hope to attract any serious traffic away from Google, not only do they have to be better, they have to be much better — probably at a minimum 25% better. And not only do they need to be 25% better at minimum than Google, but they have to be able to convince me in a short, easy, compelling way the reason behind why they are at least 25% better. Not fair, but the world that we live in.
I did try out their image search this morning and am less than impressed. Like Google their thumbnails fetched are of pretty crappy quality (I assume that this is to keep them out of legal hot water with regards to copyright) but I just thought the underlying results were lukewarm at best. Here’s a Live image search for San Francisco. And here’s Google’s image search for San Francisco.
Both Google and Live pretty much suck at image search compared to searching San Francisco by most interesting on Flickr. Of course maybe I’m just biased as several of my shots show up on the first page result of flickr (although several show up on the first page result of Google as well).
Here’s some advice with regards to a San Francisco image search though Microsoft. Don’t have your top fetched choices come back from funtasticsanfrancisco and hotelbooker.com. Figure out a way to instead tap into the top photographers who are actually shooting in San Francisco (or New York, or London, or Paris, or Tokyo, or wherever) and weight their results higher than hotelbooker. You’ll get much better shots. They are on places like Flickr and Zooomr. They have blogs and photoblogs. Unfortunately this will involve actual human input and something that looks like a social network to figure out (why hasn’t anyone done digg for photos really well yet?), but you can do much better.
Maybe live.com will build some traction, but I don’t see it yet. Microsoft does need to break into the internet in a big way, but my advice would be to try and do like Yahoo! is and buy some of sexy services playing out there right now and integrate these into live.com rather than what’s currently up there today.
Give me a reason to get excited about live.com and I will.
Jeremy Zawodny kicks the tires as well. Greg Sterling at Search Engine Watch here. Live Search’s blog here. TechCrunch here.