Does Microsoft have a speed problem?

I just saw that Redfin has switched its maps from Microsoft’s maps to Google’s maps. Why?

The Redfin blog says “speed, speed, speed.”

It says that Google’s maps are 385% faster than Microsoft’s.

This matches my observations too, but it doesn’t end there, and is why I have so many arguments lately with Steve Gillmor. Gillmor, you see, keeps telling me that Microsoft is going to really rock and roll with Ray Ozzie in charge (Ray’s teams are developing a bunch of really cool sounding cloud-based services, but then Microsoft’s Maps are really cool too, if you compare just features. Even the RedFin blog admits that Microsoft had more features, including more aerial views).

But, when I go to my wife’s blog, which is on Microsoft Spaces, it is TONS slower than WordPress. WordPress doesn’t have the huge data centers available to it that Microsoft has. Same when I use my Hotmail account. Gmail is faster. Same when I go to other things, because I’ve seen lots of people praising Microsoft’s Live.com services lately so I’ve been testing them out. Tonight ReadWrite Web, for instance, talks about the new Microsoft Labs bookmarking service.

But if you can’t make them fast, I just don’t want to have any part. This is the major reason why I chose to spend most of my time on FriendFeed instead of Facebook. Speed, speed, speed.

I thought I might be alone in that, but interesting to see Redfin making that point too.

What about you? Is there anything more important than speed? Especially when it comes to cloud services that I’m going to integrate into my blog?