Google Copies Microsoft Live Search

So many people in the media/blogosphere have Google-coloured glasses on, sometimes it makes me groan out loud. Google just updated their image search: it now hides the image resolution, the size, the file format, and the URL the image is from until you mouse over it. When you do, a light blue box appears around the image, and the extra data is displayed. Here’s how that looks. Microsoft’s Live Search (formerly MSN Search) has always done that, and a lot more: you can use the thumbnail size slider to fit more on the screen at once and it will pull in more images for you automatically. When you mouse over an image it also zooms the image in a bit (or a lot, depending on the thumbnail size setting). Here’s how that looks. Google absolutely copied Microsoft. Do I think there’s anything wrong with that? No, not at all – I don’t think that when one company makes a change it should mean that no other company can ever do anything similar. I do think it’s important to point out a double standard when one exists though, and this is definitely one.

  • I noticed this too when I fired up an Google Image search in Opera on Windows Vista. But, the other day I used Opera on my Win XP machine at work, and that hover search thingy didn’t appear. So, is this just a Windows Vista “feature” from Google or is the thing just propagating through the Google distributed servers network ? 😕

  • Nope, it’s not a Windows Vista feature, I’m seeing it in XP. Might be rolling out across the search network…

  • Janak Parekh

    Jason, whom are you accusing of a double-standard? Google? Or the media? 😉

    (Honestly: I haven’t seen the media accuse Live of being that much of a Google clone, except for, perhaps, the “simplified” frontpage, and not recently at that. But, then of course, I don’t track that news so closely, so take it with a huge grain of salt. I don’t place much stock in the media’s analysis of much of… anything anymore.)

  • “Jason, whom are you accusing of a double-standard? Google? Or the media?”

    The media – the same media that fawns over Google’s every move. Google releases some random beta, the media proclaims Google has “changed the game”, and a year later that same Google beta is sitting idle. It’s great that Google tries new things – I’m all for betas – I just dislike it when the media blows everything out of proportion.

    [You should probably disclose that you work for Google, shouldn’t you? 😉 ]

  • ctmagnus

    One advantage that Google has: it’s slightly less CPU-heavy than Live is.

  • CPU heavy? A search engine? I honestly hadn’t noticed any CPU load issues when using the Web search or the image search….