Microsoft hits back at Google with Live Search News

As a part of its Rome release, Microsoft's Live Search team has launched a new Live Search News, a direct competitor to Google News. At this time, Live Search News looks like a simplified version of Google News. The layout and design are aesthetically pleasing and will be familiar to Techmeme readers.

The orange breaking-news bar on the top is a decent feature of the site and only appears when big news is happening. The breaking-news information, unfortunately, appears only to be provided by MSNBC and not automatically generated by trends. Even considering this, it is still a good way to call attention to important stories.

While Microsoft is not providing a specific number of sources that are included in Live Search News, it appears, at this point, to be significantly less than Google News' 4,500. Google News definitely has more customization and alert options than Live Search News. Despite those differences in features, I prefer the design of Live Search News over that of Google News, and simplicity does a lot for readability. In addition, I love the video preview integration, along with the breaking news.

View: Full Article @ C|Net News

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(toadeater said @ #4)
Microsoft just doesn't get it.

And you do? Please explain "it" to us, and please use complete thoughts so we know you're not just trolling.

(brianshapiro said @ #4.3)

Yes, yes I do. Do I have to explain to you?

Everyone expected that if Microsoft were to really compete with Zune they would have to blow the iPod out of the water on release. First of all, their strategy has been the same as with the XBOX, where Microsoft intentionally ran a loss of profits at first, so it could build up the market and ecosystem, before they started pushing it heavy. As it is the Zune is not a bad media player at all, and they're building it up step by step with a lot of things Apple will want to adopt also, like social networking. Have you held one in your hand and used it? The interface controls feel rather nice, the UI is cool, and the rubberized exterior is a lot better than the scratchable exterior of ipods. First version wireless was kind of pointless, but as you know that was because of legal restrictions, and you'll see Microsoft to continue to push this front. When its mature, the marketing push will become even stronger. Microsoft is intentionally not doing the same image strategy as Apple. Though people like iPods, people are beginning to be critical of it as a chic fashion item with a corporate icon on it. Microsoft is working with a lot of indie labels to embrace the position of not being mainstream. Microsoft is also planning Windows Mobile 7 and 8 which will have some Zune features on them. Just wait how things unfold over time.

The pillars of Vista, as Microsoft was designing under Longhorn, is an example of Microsoft getting it, WPF, WCF, are very powerful, as are tools like PowerShell. Of course their specific development strategy proved to be a disaster and they had to clean up and put something together at the last minute. Vista as it is isn't perfect, but I'm enjoying using it every day, its much more pleasant to use than XP. The number of UAC prompts reduce to very minimal after the first day of use, usually only asking you when you install new software or mess around in the program files folder. Despite a few people claiming Aero is horrible, the true test is that a lot of Mac users and Mac-based designers like it a lot---and its already influenced OSX UI---the OSX UI is becoming more and more minimal (less things like metal brush and pinstripes) and incorporating more and more uses of transparency. As Microsoft screwed up on the development process, they're repositioning Vista as Longhorn was originally intended to be, before they started thinking big about it; a foundation for future Windows versions. Microsoft reorganized the Windows team and put Sinofsky as the head. (yes, Office 2007 is an example of Microsoft getting it). Hopefully too they'll do better marketing and pricing next time, as that did stink.

What do you have to explain to me? The shortcomings of Zune and Vista? I already know them, I just think you're overinflating their flaws and ignoring all the planning Microsoft is doing behind the scenes. Whether Microsoft gets it or not is something we'll have to wait to see in the future.

I really like the personalized live page also, added in just the feeds I want and get the news quick. Beats having to go to 6 or so sites etc.