There is no doubting Google as the current King of search. Here in the UK, they are reported to conduct 75% of all search engine queries. Google have been the King for some time now, there search engine is still simple, clean and productive.
Microsoft launched www.live.com this year, its their new search engine currently in Beta. Prettier and with some fancy functionality, Microsoft are attempting to woo users with their modern touch.
At the end of the day, users will search with the search engine they feel comforatable with and ultimately produces the best results in a format that they like. Which is why I feel that MSN is now the Prince of search and may just begin to chip away at Google now.
As a heavy business user of search engines, I require quick, accurate results. For the last four years I have been a Google only man. But, over the last few months I have begun using live.com more and more.
The reason? live.com are more up to date and when I search for information, I want the most recent results listed.
Run a test yourself on something which is new information, test both engines and see which one works best. I am sure if you run 10 queries, live.com will be more up to date overall than Google.
As specialits in online marketing, we would welcome a greater share of search going to other search engines. The monopoly Google have at the moment mean that they call the shots with search. This can be dangerous for businesses that are internet based, one change from Google and there whole business could be in jeapordy! Of course, we would always recommend that a business is not solely reliant on one traffic generator.