A checkpoint on search engine results contrast, ultimately leading to an irreverent bit of exposition

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/03/17 19:59 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/03/17/1903060.aspx

From time to time it is nice to see how some of the search engines are doing at their job of helping people find what they are looking for.

So let's take a typical problem, like people trying to run The Microsoft AppLocale Utility on Vista.

You may have noticed that the above page on the Global Development and Computing Portal has the following text on it marked in bold as an "important note":

AppLocale is based on the new application compatibility technology introduced in Windows XP and can only be installed on these two operating systems

One could take issue with:

Let's concentrate on that last one since that is our theoretical problem!

Now if you search on Google for the terms AppLocale Vista then as of a few minutes ago the #1 link is my blog post that tells you how to get it working under Vista. So Google got the answer quite easily. It is of note that of the remaining approximately 61,700 entries, a random sampling of the first few hundred of them don't have the answer. I'll have to hope the blog stays up!

I'll ignore Google's "helpful" tip suggesting I "search for English results only". Someone there can bite me for making that suggestion. :-)

Moving on to Live Search, the same search for the terms AppLocale Vista failed (as of a moment ago) to find my blog post (though it did find a trackback on Heath Stewart's blog to my post when you look for App Locale Vista, riddle me that one! And the first link is to an article I wrote that does not help with this problem at all).

Though interestingly, the third link in the live.com AppLocale Vista search is to a blog entry with instructions on how to run the Japanese game program Sexy Beach 3 on Vista, which gives the same info on how to work around the problem if one is trying to use AppLocale on Vista. So technically you may get the right answer quite easily from Live Search as well!

(I am not going to link to the site since although I find the connections that others have made between technology adoption and the porn industry to be fascinating (ref: Stephen Forte's Hierarchy of Technology Adoption and many others), and it is no doubt quite thrilling to know how deep the adoption of the AppLocale utility has been, I don't know whether showcasing AppLocale's effective use in this case is the most productive of possible exercises. Though I will quote Cygon's description since this is a weekend and I didn't actually try to install the program to see how well it works with AppLocale:

Just in case you have never heard of this game, Sexy Beach 3 is an adult title sold exclusively in Japan. In the game, you take the role of some random guy who gets invited for a holiday on “Sexy Island”, a small vacation island populated with a handful of other guests, which, by mere chance, are all good-looking women. You can probably see where this is heading to now…

Right, Sexy Beach 3 is basically just another sex simulation game, only that the Japanese are miles and miles ahead of the stuff churned out by western development studios. The game features beautiful anime girls, deforming clothing, real-time skin tanning and realistic boob physics. Yes, really.

Getting this game to install in Windows Vista is quite a headache, so I took the liberty to write down exactly what I did to make it work in an western Windows Vista system.

At least we know the adoption of AppLocale has been pretty significant -- this is definitely not the original goal we had in mind at Microsoft when it was released!

None of the other Live Search links lead to the answer in a quick perusal, and presumably this link with the answer might be filtered if one's searches are being filtered to avoid "adult" content, so on the whole I'd have to say that Google wins here for being the quickest to come up with the answer, though even they degenerate pretty quickly. So there is some work they could be doing here, too....


This post brought to you by  (U+3055, a.k.a. HIRAGANA LETTER SA)

# Kenny Yeung on 26 Apr 2007 8:58 PM:

Just want to tell u I came from live search

"applocale for vista"

u r at the second

# Michael S. Kaplan on 27 Apr 2007 3:37 AM:

I guess this post changed the balance! :-)

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