Location: Hyderabad, India


Do you need MS Desktop Search??

Just when Google released the Desktop Search, Microsoft also launched the much hyped MSN Toolbar Suite Beta which promises to find files, photos, and music, the interface is fancy and cool. I am sure this has convinced you enough to download this suite and try it yourself. But just wait before hitting the download button. Why do you need MS Desktop Search when your computer already has MS Desktop Search installed - Microsoft just didn't tell you until now how to use it. It's called Windows Indexing Service, and it's a standard feature of Windows 2000 and Windows XP. You can use Indexing Service to index documents and document properties on your disks and store the information in a catalog. You can also use Indexing Service to search for documents, either through Search on the Start menu or through a Web browser. To actually use Indexing Services as it was originally intended, you need to utter a few magic words, which Microsoft has chosen to keep secret from the common user.

To turn on the Indexing Service

  1. OpenComputer Management.
  2. In the Console tree, double-click Services and Applications.
  3. Double-click Indexing Services and start the service


  • To open Computer Management, click Start, and then click Control Panel. Click Performance and Maintenance, click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Computer Management.

First, turn on Indexing Service, and leave it alone for a few hours so it can index all your drives. Then open the Windows file search box as you would normally.- for example, by choosing it on the Start menu. Here's where the magic starts. First of all, type only in the space labelled 'A word or phrase in the file' (or in Windows 2000, 'Containing Text'). Now, to find a word inside a file, simply preface it with '!'. And, to find a filename, preface it with '@filename'. So typing '!vacation' and hitting 'enter' will instantly find files containing the word 'vacation'. And '@filename vacation' will instantly display all filenames containing the complete word vacation. You can add a '*' to the end to find other words like 'vacationing'. It appears that the new MSN search simply provides a more user friendly front end to this existing service, and makes a few more file types searchable. If Google hadn't come along to give Microsoft a good kick up the BIOS, Windows' secret desktop search function would have remained in obscurity for many years to come. So Microsoft is just trying to market a tool that is already on your computer. Microsoft is just a marketing company that also sells software


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, yes, there was an older version of indexing service built into windows that didn't work right.

MSN 's windows desktop search solves many problems the built in one doesn't...namely:
* it backs off correctly
* it indexes your email
* it backs off correctly
* it has a rich client UI
* it backs off correctly
* it has a rich preview pane

Oh yeah, and it's free too, so what is the big conspiracy here anyways?

5/17/2005 10:32:00 PM  

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