As I'm sure you're aware, a new version of MSN Search launched recently. I have to admit I'm a convert. There's no doubt that, until now, Google was the search engine of choice for the discerning internet user - I myself have, in weaker moments, resorted to searching with the big G. Okay, so I used to use Google's search engine by default whether at home or at work. But no more - MSN Search is so good it's taken pride of place as my IE homepage. (You can see what's new in MSN Search here)
So I was interested to see an article in Saturday's Times comparing the efforts and strategies of MSN Search, Google and Yahoo!. What surprised me was the assertion that performing a search for the word "football" did not return useful results in MSN Search (nor, according to the article did Google, whereas Yahoo! returned results that were "UK-based and soccer-related"). Well I suggest you try this for yourself but what I got back from MSN Search was a page full of relevant UK football links including Guardian Unlimited, football.co.uk, BBC Sport, football365.com and sportinglife.com. You'd be hard pressed to come up with a set of more relevant links IMHO!
The article goes on to provide search tips including using the local version of your preferred search engine. Perhaps the author didn't follow his own advice when performing the football search (I should point out that google.co.uk's results are, apart from an NFL link, also relevant and localised including my own personal favourite, the SFA) because he seems to have got very different results.
I've also installed the MSN Toolbar which is just fantastic. For me it replaces a tool I used for a long time called "Stuff I've Seen" which was developed by Microsoft Research. Using the MSN Toolbar you can search documents on your local machine as well as emails and calendar requests etc. It's a great tool and fully integrated with MSN Search. Microsoft Research have some fascinating projects on the go. Take a look at TerraServer and SkyServer for a couple of great examples.