Windows Search 4.0 Preview Unveiled

Microsoft yesterday published a trial version of its latest desktop search engine called Windows Search 4.0 Preview. The solution works with Microsoft's operating systems to search for files and to index them for faster access.

Windows Search 4.0 is variously described as technology deriving from an earlier Microsoft effort, code-named "Casino," a supposed Google search-engine competitor, according to various published sources. However, a statement from Microsoft said it stems from Windows Desktop Search 3.01 technology, as described by All About Microsoft's Mary Jo Foley.

Microsoft fixed some bugs found during user tests of the Vista search engine, and those fixes are incorporated into this preview release, according to a Microsoft blogger. The company also added some new capabilities, including a search return performance that is "about 33% faster" than Vista's, the blogger added.

You can also find information across other Windows-based PCs using indexing, which Microsoft calls "Remote Index Discovery," provided that the PCs use the same search technology. You can roll back searches to "the last known good state," which can help when there are "disc write errors," according to the blog.

The blog pointed to "improved performance when indexing Exchange in online mode." You can also index encrypted files and create group policy settings.

Other Microsoft programs that use the new desktop search engine are Office OneNote 2007 and Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, according to Microsoft's Knowledge Base description, where the preview can be downloaded.

The preview version works with 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows (Vista and XP), plus Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.