Microsoft has announced desktop search updates for Vista Service Pack 1.
Microsoft has announced some changes to Windows Vista and their desktop search feature. These changes will make it easier for other desktop search tools to integrate with Vista – and that’s a good thing for all Office users.
At present Vista’s own indexing system doesn’t like other programs trying to do a similar job. Google and Microsoft blame each other for these problems but it’s something we’ve noted in the past, even in our Desktop Search Handbook. Not only do you have two programs trying to index the same content but there’s the risk that each program will try to index each others indexes.
It’s good that Microsoft will provide Vista ‘hooks’ to let index/search programs to play nicely together. As usual there’s a catch …. surprisingly the court order makes no mention of Microsoft Office or its separate programs like Outlook.
Outlook 2007 requires Windows Desktop Search to be installed. If you choose to use a different desktop search tool you still need the Windows one installed to get any searches directly out of Outlook 2007. The order means that, unlike now, Vista users should be able to search within Outlook 2007 while still using the desktop search tool of their choice.
As we’ve noted before in Office Watch, searching in Outlook 2007 looks great in demos but that’s about all – if you want to find something in your Outlook 2007 data you’re better off using desktop search tools from Copernic or Google. For this reason the changes in Windows Vista aren’t just academic – there is a practical and direct need.
All this isn’t going to happen right away, we’ll have to wait until next year for Vista Service Pack 1 to implement these changes. Until then Outlook 2007 users, especially those with Vista, will have to muddle along with a lame search feature (‘Instant Search’ – yeah right).
We can only hope that behind the stony silence there is a concerted effort by Microsoft to improve their own desktop search tool and especially its integration with Outlook 2007.