I've just realized that all the technology I use for the blog belongs to Google. Microsoft either doesn't have the services at all, or the Microsoft services are not up to par with Google's.
Blogging platform: I use Blogger, which was acquired by Google in 2002. While it has its own limitations (and I am considering moving to a more advanced blogging platform than Boller), Microsoft's Live Spaces is nowhere near the requirements for a professional blog. I actually like Live Spaces, but it is far behind Blogger, mainly in terms of ability to customize and extend.
Ads: I use Google's AdSense to place ads in the blog. Microsoft doesn't seem to have the ability for publishers to put ads on their sites (as far as I can tell). Microsoft has adCenter which allows advertisers to create ads (competes with Google's AdWords), but that I need the publisher's feature.
Statistics: I use Google Analytics for site usage statistics (see this post for more information). I have received a comment that Microsoft now has this service too. It is called Microsoft adCenter Analytics, and it is currently in Beta by invitation only. From reading the FAQ, the features seem comparable more or less to Google's. There is one feature that Microsoft has and Google doesn't (demographics by age, gender and occupation (not clear what is the source of the data)), and the FAQ state that "...we believe that adCenter Analytics will eventually provide the most useful Web analytic reports and customer insights on the market today,..." (not sure how eventually and today work together). Anyway - I have registered and I am in the waiting list to try it.
Search: I have now added the ability to search within the blog. I have chosen Google's search for 2 reasons: (1) Live Search doesn't currently even index the blog (even though Google found it months ago); I have now explicitly asked to add it to Live Search, we'll see how that goes. (2) Google's search supports publishing ads as part of adSense, while Live Search doesn't.
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