I think I should add some noise to this. I for one haven't visited the main microsoft.com website for quite sometime now. So can't say that I really notice it.
I just go where google tells me there is a result for my query. And the only microsoft sites that I type into the address bar are: msdn.microsoft.com, microsoft.com/australia/msdn...
For msdn though, I usually just head straight for their search anyway.
Though, going there now... I can see that there is a solution to the Download.Ject problem. That part is very in your face (click me).
Personally, I usually know what I want to find, so I'll use google or any other search mechanism (if the site provides one) and go from there. Or if it's easy to navigate the menu system, then I do that.