Microsoft MSN Desktop Search Is Out In Beta
As expected, Microsoft has finally released a beta of their Desktop Search software. It is integrated with their Browser Toolbar set and is now labeled MSN Toolbar Suite Beta.
The download size is huge compared to Google Desktop Search at 4.8megs and you would need to download another add-on worth 3.78megs just to enable PDF searching. Not exactly a surprise considering it is Microsoft!
The suite comes with three separate toolbars. One is installed in Internet Explorer, another in Microsoft Outlook and the last one as a Deskbar. The search results are displayed as expected in Internet Explorer integrated with MSN Search Beta and in first impression looks to be pretty feature rich.
It definitely looks good though I am pretty worried about the amount of memory the crawlers are taking. All the new services added in the Task Manager consumed well over 20 Megs on this test system.
Search Engine Journal will be back with a more comprehensive review in a couple of days, considering desktop search would take just more than a couple of hours to really find out the truth. However, sleekness of the the help system and toolbar clearly shows how much Google is inspiring Microsoft.
In the meantime, here is a rundown on the features of MSN Desktop Search/Toolbar Suite:
“With MSN Toolbar Suite, consumers can now search their desktops from within the popular applications on their PCs,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president for the MSN Information Services and Merchant Platform division at Microsoft. “By delivering fast, precise answers with familiar technology, Microsoft is taking desktop information discovery to a new level.”
From any of the MSN Toolbar Suite tools, consumers can conveniently manage the vast amount of digital information available on their PC by quickly searching it in one step. These applications provide the following benefits:
* Search based retrieval of desktop files. Consumers can search the thousands of files on their PCs, including Outlook Contacts or Calendar files, Adobe PDFs files, or Microsoft Office Word or PowerPoint files.
* The MSN toolbars are conveniently designed to work with Outlook, Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer and the Windows desktop. The MSN Toolbars also give consumers quick access to MSN Messenger, MSN Hotmail and MSN Spaces, enabling them to initiate common communication tasks right from the bar, including e-mail, instant messaging and inserting URLs into Spaces blogs.
* Consumers can use desktop search when browsing files in Windows enabling them to open files in their associated application directly from their desktop search results and enabling quick access to actions such as managing, sharing, deleting or playing files.
* New MSN Search service. MSN Toolbar Suite displays Web search results from the recently launched MSN Search Beta release.
* Privacy protection. The MSN Toolbar Suite is built on the current Windows security and privacy model, and respects the privacy of multiple users on a single PC by utilizing the Windows authentication and user account management infrastructure, helping to provide consumers with a better-protected and more private desktop searching experience.
Download: MSN Toolbar Suite Beta
Sushubh Mittal is the tech columnist at Search Engine Journal and the Editor of TechWhack