Coffeehouse Thread

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Microsoft do everything in their power to make their site unsearchable

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  • User profile image
    Jaz

    Ok so the last time i posted about search on the microsoft site, it wasn't clear cut who was in the wrong (me or Microsoft).  This time i believe there is irefutable proof that Microsoft don't really know what they're doing when it comes to powering search on their site.

     

    Generic Forum Image

    Right well... why does Windows server appear twice in this list? whats up with that?

     

    Generic Forum Image

    And wait.... what, why are you linking me to wikipedia... that isn't a microsoft site.. also why is there nothing about beta in any of those search results? and why when you change any of the criteria in "by download type" do the search results never change?

     

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/windowsserver/bb405947.aspx

  • User profile image
    cbae

    @Jaz: I think that the first "Windows Server" option in the "By Product" dropdown is supposed to say "Select..." or something to that effect. As for the Wikipedia result, I think the search is powered by Bing, and it's just a little too "eager" in the results returned.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Microsoft needs to remake their website.

    No, not their "microsoft.com" front-page (like they do every year), but everything under the microsoft.com domain name. The whole site should be cut down to the bare minimum and everything must be kept consistent. Product groups should not be responsible for the design and layout of their product's web-pages, that should instead be handled by a central web-team that manages the sites for everyone.

    They should also cut down on clutter - the new Metro-inspired design of Microsoft.com is a huge improvement on the "let's add arbitrary clickable regions!"-design on the old 2007 website when Vista came out, but it's still too noisy, with some bits not looking right, and most painfully: the Javascript isn't fluid enough. It feels like 20fps when I know my system is capable of 60+.

  • User profile image
    cbae

    @W3bbo: Their domain names are a mess too:

    This site is channel9.msdn.com.

    App Hub is create.msdn.com.

    But www.msdn.com redirects to msdn.microsoft.com.

    WTF?

    More...

    The Windows Azure site is: www.windowsazure.com

    and www.azure.com redirects to www.windowsazure.com.

    But the Windows Azure management portal URL is windows.azure.com

     

     

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    MS is always confusing. It is very difficult to know what are available for free from MS to the general public, even for people who are more than simple tech savy crowd. So, it is not surprising you will have even harder time to navigate around it when it is not meant for simple general public. It is basically a puzzle game that helps your brain exercise every single day.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Things get worse with localization. There are a number of different approaches:

    • Subdomain - this is how Wikipedia does it, so you have "en.wikipedia.org" and "fr.wikipedia.org"
    • Area - this is what Apple does (and they probably do it because they couldn't register Apple.co.uk) - they have "apple.com/uk" and "apple.com/fr", this frees up subdomains for different conceptual websites, e.g. "store.apple.com" which in turn has "store.apple.com/uk"
    • gTLD - this is what the majority of multinational corporate sites do, especially Microsoft - microsoft.com for global and USA-specific information, microsoft.co.uk for UK-specific details, and so on.

    All three approaches are valid, however none of them solve the duplicate information problem, and any approach using DNS (the first and third) risks poor SEO. In practice, I give Apple the most points for good execution, but I think the gTLD option is the best in the long-term but Microsoft just tends to blow it.

    I note that Dell (and HP) have adopted a kind of anti-pattern here, their websites make Microsoft.com look like a well-manicured private library. Product information is inconsistent across different geographical websites, the website itself is slow, and it's easy to think you're on your local website when it turns out you've been surfing the USA site all along. Their domain names are also rather cryptic: "www1.euro.dell.com" for example. Dell is a multi-billion-dollar company, they should be able to mask implementation details behind their domain name. Dell is bigger than Google (in terms of employees and revenue) so why do they appear so second-class?

  • User profile image
    davewill

    , W3bbo wrote

    *snip*

    Dell is bigger than Google (in terms of employees and revenue) so why do they appear so second-class?

    @W3bbo: Ooooo ... ooooo ... pick me.  I can answer that one ... margins.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    i have always seen large corp's have nasty site issues.  back in 2001-2002 i had to find stuff on the cisco tech site and it was a mess.  recently i had to do some stuff with RSA - same as cisco.

    and when i tried to find a download for a checkpoint vpn / firewall it was also a mess.

    it's part of the cancer of getting big.  at least it sure seems that way.

  • User profile image
    Harlequin

    , W3bbo wrote

    *snippy*

    Product groups should not be responsible for the design and layout of their product's web-pages, that should instead be handled by a central web-team that manages the sites for everyone.

    Realize that vendors do most of the web work for Microsoft, even on their own SharePoint back-end site. I know because I work for one.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    , figuerres wrote

    i have always seen large corp's have nasty site issues.  back in 2001-2002 i had to find stuff on the cisco tech site and it was a mess.  recently i had to do some stuff with RSA - same as cisco.

    To be fair, most of the web was shít back in 2001-2002.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    Thinking about the web in 2001 brought back a load of memories. Who remembers any of these things?

    • The X10 Camera popup adverts
    • AllAdvantage
    • Porn dialers
    • Using Yahoo, MSN Search and Dogpile because no-one had heard of Google.com

    Anyone else got any favourites?

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    Netflix: The X10 of the 2010's

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    @W3bbo: +1

    This should be priority #1 for Microsoft to start rebuilding their image...

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