Tech: Uncertain Sailing For Microsoft

It was a mixed week for Microsoft. The good: the company launched a preview beta version of its MSN search engine (at beta.search.msn.com) designed to challenge Google for users and a piece of the growing search-related advertising market. While not as powerful as Google, MSN search is close--fast, accurate and nearly as comprehensive as its rival. The not-so-good: a new challenger arose with the release of Firefox 1.0 (download it at mozilla.org) a Web browser that offers real improvements over Microsoft's Internet Explorer. On Firefox, Web pages load faster, and there are an excellent pop-up blocker and...