An Anonymous Patron suggested we were too harsh in our criticism of MSN, and we need to re-visit the Microsoft/Google issue with the following.
If you go to the msn.com site, you will indeed find 440 pages listed for the search term "Linux". At the top of that list, however, you will find a number of sub-searches.
Click on "all topics".
Click on "United Linux".
msn.com now reports 725,405 pages. (Many of the other sub-searches also involve very long hit lists.) Google reports 2,010,000 pages for the same search, but keep in mind that Google has a larger database. Anonymous Patron says unitedlinux.com was at the top, while only msn lists www.linux.com (3rd) on the first page of responses. My results were very different for this search.
Anonymous Patron has more below."The two sites have different databases and different algorithms for selecting sites. One of the hardest problems in designing algorithms is what to do with terms that have 'too many' hits. NOBODY scrolls through 700,000+ hits. Few people scroll through 400+. Deciding what to display so it is the most useful to the searcher is not a straight forward problem.
Google has generally done the best job in the industry, and it is still private IIRC. They are also one of the few .com type operations that make money. Quite frankly, Microsoft is most interested in getting their hands on the PEOPLE who work at companies like that.
BTW: Google doesn't give you 'pure' results. If you advertise with them you'll find your pages have a tendency to show up higher in the list of matches than they otherwise would."