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Last month, I decided to spend April with Microsoft, May with Yahoo, and June with Google. As April comes to an end, I turn from Microsoft to Yahoo. I already changed my search default within Firefox and am now sending traffic to Yahoo instead of Microsoft.
In hindsight, April was frustrating. I started out by trying to switch all my software infrastructure to Microsoft, including IE7b2. In addition to bonking hard, this attempt messed up enough other things on my desktop computer at home that I quickly backed off the “all Microsoft” and went to “online Microsoft only.” The nice folks in the IE group tried to help, but the pre-release of the next version that I downloaded was too unstable (and – after one iteration – I decided I simply didn’t have the time to keep fighting with it) so I bailed and just kept using Firefox.
I dug into MSN and Live.com to try to switch from several of my web-only apps, including My.Yahoo. I found that either (a) the switching costs were simply too high (I didn’t have the desire to spend the time setting things up to my liking) or (b) when I spent the time, I ran into walls that limited my desire to continue. For example, I’m a heavy user of del.icio.us (Yahoo) and – as I tried to figure out how to stop using it and use a corresponding Microsoft tool, I couldn’t find one that was equivalent. Or – when I tried to shift from Foxmarks (to synchronize my Firefox bookmarks across computers) to Windows Life Favorites, the service was unavailable the first time I tried, I got tangled up in Microsoft Passport login hell the second time, and finally got it working the third time, but then was frustrated that I couldn’t figure out how to sort the “Your Folders” view alphabetically and gave up.
I had some positive experiences – I did two presentations where I used Live Image Search as my primary search for content and was pretty satisfied. I didn’t have any fundamental problems with either MSN Search of Live Search – after using it a month I didn’t notice that I wasn’t using Google for search.
Overall, I didn’t dig into too many non-Microsoft services that I wasn’t already using. I’m a heavy client app user (Outlook, Office Apps, Trillian, FeedDemon, Picasa, Skype, Adobe, MotionBased, iTunes, and some other client apps) so I’ve got plenty of client stuff, including Microsoft – in my face all day. However, I just couldn’t get the base under me to switch away on the web apps that I use. I expect that being intensely busy in April and being on the road all month didn’t help matters as I had lower tolerance than usual for screwing around with new stuff.
I expect life with Yahoo will be easier since I’ve been a heavy My.Yahoo user since 1997. However, I find that with RSS I use My.Yahoo less and less since I consume RSS in FeedDemon. Let’s see what else – besides Yahoo Search – I find useful this month.