Microsoft Limits Cortana To Bing Search, Edge Browser - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Limits Cortana To Bing Search, Edge Browser
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Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
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5/2/2016 | 11:21:11 AM
Devil's advocate
You know, for all the flak we in the tech community give Bing, how many have actually *tried* it?

Does it have a long way to go?  Sure.  But it's still useful, it offers diversity of top results, and its maps solution seems to be a heck of a lot better.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
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5/3/2016 | 9:01:50 AM
Re: Devil's advocate
@vnewman: I dunno.  I'm not seeing that.  I'm seeing a picture of a mountainous landscape.

Whereas on Google today, I'm seeing YET ANOTHER doodle.  They were cute when Google did them every now and then once in a blue moon.  But now they do them all the time.  This one is for "National Teachers Day" -- just another made-up #day that nobody actually cares about (unless you're a teacher or teacher-booster).

I think I see doodles more often than I see the actual Google logo these days.

In any case, functionality-wise, I still thing Bing has some catching up to do for regular old search, but UX-wise it's a wash.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
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5/3/2016 | 9:03:30 AM
Re: Strategic?
Well, sure.  Just like how Microsoft prepackages IE with Windows.  Or how Firefox signs a deal with a particular search provider for the Firefox landing page.  Etc., etc.  :)
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
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5/4/2016 | 6:54:08 AM
Re: Strategic?
@jries: I am reminded of when I worked in the box office of an equity theatre many years ago one summer in my youth.

One afternoon, I overheard a conversation between the theatre's General Manager and the Box-Office Manager.  (For those not in the know, the two head honchos of any theatre are the General Manager and the Artistic Director.)  They were talking about ticket subscriptions, and how they needed to sell more subscriptions to raise their profits.

Naive teenage me piped up, "But I thought we were not-for-profit."

The General Manager, a big, burly old man, let out an enormous boffo, put his hand on my shoulder, and said, "Kid, every business is for profit."
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
5/4/2016 | 7:02:05 AM
Re: Devil's advocate
The basic UI is (usually -- see my discussion of Doodle overuse) is definitely no nonsense, but in general no nonsense?

Google now has a feature where there will be a featured best answer to certain searches -- particularly ones with straightforward answers.

But I have frequently found these featured "straightforward" answers to be at times loaded, at times incorrect, and at times completely inappropriate (even racially charged).

 
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
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5/5/2016 | 7:33:58 AM
Re: Devil's advocate
@vnewman: The doodles were fun when they were rare.  Scarce.  Now they are no longer special.

The very day after the National Teachers Day doodle was another doodle for someone's 100-somethingth birthday.

I've genuinely stopped caring about the doodles.  They're so commonplace these days that they just get an eyeroll from me now, no matter what they're for.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
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5/5/2016 | 7:35:18 AM
Re: Devil's advocate
@jastroff: We used to have more search engines.  A bunch, actually.  17 years ago, Altavista and Metacrawler were my search engines of choice.  Both of those are gone now.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
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5/6/2016 | 2:48:18 PM
Re: To Cortana or Not to Cortana ....
@tjgkg: The worst part about using Siri to search, regardless of the search engine used, is just how slow and obstinate the UX is:

ME: Siri, Google 'gas stations in Byfield, Massachusetts.'

SIRI: You'll need to unlock your iPhone first.

ME: (enters passcode)

SIRI: (assuming Siri hasn't forgotten the original request by this point) If you like, I can search Google for "Hutch Station son by fields Massachusetts"

(and only once Siri repeats this all to me does she actually start to do any work)
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
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5/6/2016 | 2:49:31 PM
Re: Devil's advocate
History's great, but I'm not a fan of editorialized, "pushed" history.

I feel like I learn more and broaden my horizons more impactfully when I just play around on Wikipedia clicking "Random article."
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
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5/7/2016 | 8:09:35 AM
Re: Devil's advocate
Metacrawler (if I am remembering the name of the tool correctly) used to take and aggregate all the major search engines (there were several back then -- heck, remember Lycos???).  You'd get all kinds of results that you'd never get on your usual search engine choice.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
5/7/2016 | 8:13:07 AM
Re: Strategic?
@tjgkg: Indeed, all "not-for-profit" means is that you're restricted in how you can use your profits if you want to retain your tax-exempt status.

(It is, in other words, a colloquial "racket.")

Another, grander example in headlines today: MIT -- which already has a $13.5bil endowment, is presently in the midst of a fundraiser for an additional $5bil!  (And they've already raised $2.6bil so far.)
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
5/8/2016 | 11:58:09 AM
Re: Devil's advocate
@jastroff: You're forgetting a "main" search engine: DuckDuckGo.

I'm not particularly impressed by its ability to find things compared to the other search engines, but it offers the privacy and anonymity that Google and Microsoft and Yahoo do not.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
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6/1/2016 | 8:14:54 PM
Re: Strategic?
@tjgkg: I don't think greed or morality are really at issue; I think we just have to recognize as a society that "not-for-profit" is a pretty meaningless phrase

Actually, "non-profit" universities and other organizations are better positioned than many for-profit organizations because the former are more or less compelled to use their excess funds to build their organization and make it a market leader.  In this sense, non-profit can be a better business model -- as long as you don't care about things like exits and dividends.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
6/2/2016 | 12:28:14 PM
Re: Strategic?
@tjgkg: I'm not so sure it's for the benefit of the students.

Recent example from my alma mater here: unionleader.com/UNH-says-$17,570-table-in-dining-hall-was-a-mistake
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
6/4/2016 | 10:29:07 AM
Re: Strategic?
Maybe they were really, really good wrenches.  ;)


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