I do not work for ask but I have been very impressed with Ask. Depending on what you search for I have found answers that Google could not come up with. The results are very good from the UK and I have it set as my second Search Engine (after Google).
The best thing in terms of a webmaster point of view is that I find Ask has the best Bounce Rate and Pages/Visit by over 30% compared to other search engines (though they do tend to show more home pages over content pages that would influence this).
I think the new interface is really good and as (UK) webmasters we should look to embrace them.
Users outside the US will never embrace Yahoo (an MSN) because their localisation sucks (example search for Pizza). So I must insist that Ask is better than Yahoo! for UK users at least.
The monopoly is not good if we only rely on one SE for a chunck that could effect the bottom line. I for one am going to use Ask more and I hope other webmasters can break a habit of what seems like a lifetime and choose an alternative like Firefox over IE.