Microsoft Outlook and Lookout Search
Itâ€™s a combination which should have been there since the beginning. The latest mantra in searching is find as you type (pioneered by WinAmp and Opera M2). And if you cannot do that, do the next best thing. Make a database of all the content regularly and then search in that instead of searching in the entire set of files. This is how Indexing services in Windows XP (and some of the older versions of WinOS works), and this is how Lookout works. Microsoft recently bought this company for their neat little utility that Microsoft either failed to develop or conceive on its own so they did the next best (and pretty much their habit) thingâ€¦ they bought the company. So now lookout technology seems to be something Microsoft would be incorporating into the next versions of MS Outlook. Till then, we are stuck with manually installing this funky utility in our already cluttered MS Outlook.
The software is nifty. Small download footprint and works well. You install it and then restart the Outlook application. It comes as a fresh toolbar on the outlook window itself. First usage of application leads to the development of the database. The application looks out for all the mails stored in the application with incredible speed. It made a database of a test installation with huge amount of imported mails (10k mails of all sizes) in just 4 minutes flat. This is where all the magic lies. It refreshes the database at a manually defined interval and gives out instant results. The user has the power to set the times of the refreshes of the databases (both full and incremental) and can also restrict the time periods when the database updations can be done. So, wellâ€¦ you can set your outlook to re-index your mails when you are away lunching and keep your searches up to date. It also has the option to go through certain types of attachments and show them in related search results!
The competition to such utilities are far and few. I do not know anything that does the same with Mozilla Thunderbird and I am pretty sure its searches are not something to write about. The application that beats Lookout fair and square is Opera M2â€™s find as you type. Since opera stores emails in special format that resembles a database itself, it does not need any re-indexing. The searches are blazing fast and works as you type. The searches can also be saved as a special folder (called access points) for future usage with fresh results available all the time. Thatâ€™s what I called awesome stuff! But with the help of Lookout, Microsoft is slowly getting there!
Definitely recommended for any MS Outlook userâ€¦