The Microsoft Live Search Webmaster Center has been brought out of beta, last week, along with the release of a few new updates. Webmasters will now be able to better understand the crawling and indexing methods used by Live Search.
The updates to the Webmaster Center enable discovery of issues affecting a website including errors the Live Search spider faces when crawling the site, such as file not found, files blocked by robots exclusion, long, dynamic URLs and unsupported content types. The Live Search console will now return the URL, along with the date when it had last been found.
Webmasters will now also be able to get a lot more information regarding links pointing to their sites.
New features have been added to old as well as new reports, to enable advance filtering so that webmasters can zoom into the appropriate data, without having to scan all the results and downloading data to enable analysis of large volumes of data. However, only the first 1,000 results can be viewed in a .csv file.
All of these features have already been provided by Google Webmaster Tools for a while now. If Microsoft wishes to be considered remotely significant in the search industry, the least they could do is provide all the tools and information that Google does, soon after, if not before Google releases them.
Playing catch-up months or years after Google acts on an issue, and then trying to make it out to be a big deal, will not win Microsoft any favour with the search marketing industry.