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But, consistency is an important part of usability.

Consistency cuts both ways. There is the branding consistency of the + symbol, and then there is the consistency of how + worked for searches last week vs. this week. My vote is that consistency in usage trumps consistency in branding.

Google+ probably gets much more usage than the + search operator. I'm sad that that part is becoming harder, but if they have a use for + that's integral for a future piece that relates to Google+, the needs of the many and all that.

I just tried Bing, + works on there it seems.

I can't believe it's been almost 10 years of using Google. Default search changed to Bing on all Laptops. I'm done. Fuck Google.

Have you tried DDG? http://duckduckgo.com/about.html

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