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Microsoft's Upcoming Desktop Search Tool 293

Back in July, Microsoft purchased a company called Lookout who made a tool that allowed users of Outlook 2000+ to search through their email at greater speed and accuracy to the standard Outlook search tool. Since Microsoft acquired Lookout, the MSN team have been steadily working on Desktop Search and web search technologies. Google announced their own Desktop Search technology recently; the tool is fast but is limited in capabilities.The MSN Toolbar Suite integrates directly throughout the OS and varies according to where you're searching from. For example, if you're searching from within Windows Explorer you will search on your PC, in IE on the web and in Outlook the toolbar searches within Outlook. The bottom line : like the new online search, Microsoft have made a very good effort to get back in the game.
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Microsoft's Upcoming Desktop Search Tool

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  • Spotlight anyone? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mr100percent ( 57156 ) * on Sunday November 14, 2004 @01:12PM (#10813340) Homepage Journal
    Sounds like Apple's Spotlight [apple.com] technology. (Developer article here [apple.com]) Funny, at the Macworld when it was announced, one of Apple's banners at the expo [blogintosh.com] read "Redmond, start your photocopiers."

  • Re:Spotlight anyone? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 14, 2004 @01:31PM (#10813470)
    How about Rover, the annoying dog in the XP search tool? (Arguable since it originally appeared in MS Bob).
  • Re:I, for one... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Nuskrad ( 740518 ) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @01:38PM (#10813512)
    Does 'Beta' mean anything to you? If people want these features, and make them know, they'll be added.
  • Re:The Bottom Line (Score:5, Informative)

    by djdavetrouble ( 442175 ) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @01:47PM (#10813573) Homepage
    By buying a company. How like them.
    Um most big corporations expand through acquisition. Apple did it too, see itunes, logic audio, shake.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 14, 2004 @02:04PM (#10813644)
    I used Lookout for several months and was so relieved by its search speed compared to native Outlook, although the Lookout index was often outdated. Then I discovered Copernic Desktop Search (www.copernic.com), which is free, instantly updates the index, and provides more options for indexing and searching all of my files and content. I've used CDS for about 2 months now and am extremely happy with it. I've seen X1, but it costs $$ and doesn't seem to offer anything Copernic doesn't. I don't trust Google's product because it is said to retrieve documents that are not owned by a user and because the Google Toolbar includes spyware features (albeit optional features).

    IMHO Microsoft and Apple are both playing catch up, but with the advantage that they own their respective operating systems.

    BTW: I don't consider any of these products or the concepts behind them particularly insightful. Just about anyone who uses computers daily in their business could have dreamed up the feature sets. Implementation itself is trickier, but Copernic, X1 and Google all demonstrate that there's no shortage of developers who know how to carry out the harder tasks.

  • by kendor ( 525262 ) <kennethfine@hotmail.com> on Sunday November 14, 2004 @02:46PM (#10813839)
    C'mon, you probably can't think of anything "cool" because you don't want to. I'll bite:
    1. ASP 3.0 and the resulting aftermarket of extensions
    2. SQLXML extensions for SQL Server beat all the major players with rich DB/XML interactions.
    3. SQL Server is a very nice tool, especially the UI on things like its Query Builder, which IMHO is a work of genius. It supports the needs of expert users while simultanously training newbie developers.
    4. ADO/ADO.NET is awesome: unifies structured data storage forms, supports persistant and disconnected data
    5. Visual Studio / the free "Visual Web Express" or whatever it's called (have you tried it?)
    6. ASP.NET
    7. Mappoint as a subscribable web service, unique biz model
    8. "Streets and Trips" standalone routefinding/GPS utlility
    9. Xbox is very cool, modded or not. Amped/Amped2 games are unique.
    10. PocketPC is very useful.
    11. Latest implementation of Remote Desktop (ships with XP) is insanely great. Access local devices like disks and printers from remote sessions, or vice versa. I did usable remote desktop session from Instanbul - USA over 28.8k modem. That's pretty cool.

    Give credit where credit is due.

  • And, as is usual... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ratboy666 ( 104074 ) <fred_weigel AT hotmail DOT com> on Sunday November 14, 2004 @03:25PM (#10814011) Journal
    GUIs are playing catch-up again. "locate" has been around on Unix platforms for, what, 20 or 30 years? And, it does wildcard searches for filenames, ready to jam into grep for content search.

    Content could be indexed, but its a bit project specific (so us Unix heads only do it on specific projects, right?).

    For the un-initiated, a process runs (typically once a day), and indexes all filenames on your system. You can then get instant answers to "Show me all Microsoft Word documents on my system"

    file `locate *.doc` | grep Microsoft

    and many other queries. This stuff is PLAIN ORDINARY UNIX/LINUX. Ah well, doesn't help the completely casual user. You know, "If the option isn't clearly presented, it can't possibly be done -- or I just don't want to bother".

    More power to 'em, them -- but people PLEASE don't ask when this will be ported to Linux/Unix!

  • Re:I, for one... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ortholattice ( 175065 ) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @04:00PM (#10814190)
    For searching file names I gave up waiting for Microsoft's animated dog long ago. (I haven't tried the Google thing.) I use 'locate' under Cygwin, and it's essentially instant.

    4. Wildcard searches - oftentimes I just can't remember how I've saved the file. Was my presentation called group4project.ppt or group4.ppt or G4.ppt? A simple search of *4*.ppt should find the file, where * is a wildcard. Currently I can't do that.

    Cygwin: locate -i *g*4*.ppt

    5. No automatic unindexing. I just moved 3000 files from my desktop to another folder. Now whenever I search for any of those files I get two results, one of them pointing to a non-existing location. There's no way in hell I'm removing 3000 files from the index manually, ten at a time.

    Cygwin: updatedb --localpaths="/cygdrive/c /cygdrive/d"
    (I have this in an alias. Of course this doesn't index content like what you are talking about, it updates the 'locate' database. I'm just talking efficient search of filenames here. It would be nice, though, to have a simple, fast CLI like 'locate' that does content. Although grep can be reasonable unless you're doing the whole disk.)

    My life is so much more efficient since I discovered Cygwin. It's not for Grandma, but for anyone with an inkling of a technical bent it's heaven and 10-100x faster than going thru all the pointy-clicky stuff.

  • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Sunday November 14, 2004 @04:51PM (#10814497)
    Remote desktop is just a hack of VNC

    Have you actually used rdesktop? VNC is essentially just a remote control for a PC - everything you do is visible on any monitor that may be connected to the target PC, and if anyone sits down and tries to use it, you'll fight over cursor and input control.

    Rdesktop, on the other hand, is a truly multi-user solution - you can have mulitple users rdesktoped into a server at once, all in their own sessions. Meanwhile, the machine itself will be sat at the login prompt, with no activity visible.

    Performance-wise, in my experience, rdesktop over a modem beats the snot out of VNC over a 100Mbps LAN. Add to that things like resource sharing, whereby you can access local drives remotely and vice-versa (including copy-paste between machines), access local printers remotely, and so on and it becomes clear that you have no idea what you're talking about.

Man will never fly. Space travel is merely a dream. All aspirin is alike.