Looks like Microsoft is working up a system much like Google Personal called, Start. It is currently in its working stages, as you can see by the “Preview” in the image, and so far, it looks pretty spiffy. After testing around with it for a little bit, I came across some things that I liked, and somethings that I disliked.

First off, I like the Dashboard that they have created. It is very similar too Google Personal, but hey, you know it was going to happen. The Dashboard consists of blocks for News, Engadget, Boing Boing, the weather, things in that nature and you can click and drag the boxes to the positions you want. Secondly, I love the RSS integration. You can view popular RSS feeds or even add your own to the list. Now, the feature that I personally like the most is how searching is done. You simply type the keywords, click search, and a new box will open on the page with a dropshadow behind it. Inside of this box is the results returned for your search term. I found this to be very nice and fast. But, enough about the good things, lets talk about what I did not like.

I did not like that this does not work in Firefox! Of course, I know it is a Microsoft service, but the thing that got me going is that the little game they have before you are given the link does work in Firefox with no problems, and even has the nice background color change for the inputs when you get the answer correct (does not do this in IE). Also, as you beat the game and enter the Start Preview, it will show the layout and text fine. But, it does not show the dashboard nor the Popular RSS feeds. When you click on the Show/Hide Dashboard buttons, it does not show up either. Maybe they are still working on it, or maybe not.

Another problem that I found was that once you close a box on the Dashboard, it does not seem like you can open it up again. At least, I could not find a button or anything to do so. I mistakingly clicked on the close button for Engadget when I wanted to drag it and it closed. I went to open it up again, but could not find out how.

Other than these two issues I came across, everything else seemed to nice. Overall good project. Also, if you have clicked on thee links I provided to Start, you will notice I send you to the game that they have before entering. I’m not going to give up the address to it that easily!

One Comment on “Microsoft Start Preview”

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