MSN’s new search is pulling their search results from several sources, including their own MSN Encarta Encyclopedia and MSN Music. When Bill Gates officially announced the launch of MSN Search, he challenged users to visit MSN.com and “type in your question.” MSN is able to answer questions such as “What is the mass of Jupiter?” and places the answer atop of and apart from the regular search results. It said, “Answer: Jupiter: mass: 318 Earth Masses.” However, when entering the same question in Google, MSN’s rival engine also returns an answer separate from the regular search results: mass of Jupiter = 1.8987 × 1027 kilograms. Google seems to win this one by giving a more precise answer.
Here’s a summary of what we learned:
+If you’re looking for encyclopedia-type answers to questions like “What is a marsupial?” ask MSN Search (or visit encyclopedia.com or Britannica.com).
+If you’re looking for a black-and-white photo of daisies, use MSN Search because the image search is nicely arranged and you can filter results by size as well as by color or black and white.
+If you’re looking for results “near me,” stick with Google’s automatically localized results by including the city and state in your query.
+If you’re looking for the most precise answer, perhaps you should stick with Google (at least for now).