MSN Desktop Search Beta Feedback Roundup

Monday was incredible! We are very excited about all of the feedback we received from you blog posts, comments, discussion groups, and through online feedback via our website.  Scoble posted two solid round ups of the word on the street. Thanks to everyone who has already given the beta a spin. 


We are still going through everyone’s reactions on the release, but we wanted to address some of the top issues that have come up so far:


How can I search the contents of Adobe PDF files?

At the end of setup you need to download and install a plug-in that will enable Desktop Search to search the content of all Adobe PDF files on your computer. If you did not install the plug-in when you first installed MSN Toolbar Suite, you can install it now.  After installing the plug-in your PDF files will begin getting added to your index.


Will Desktop Search support Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP x64?  What about support for different languages? 

For the beta we are supporting English US Windows 2000 SP4 and Windows XP, however we are working to support additional OSes and languages in future releases.  We hear your feedback on the importance of getting support out sooner than later! 


Why aren’t Desktop Search results viewable in Mozilla?  (Or other browsers)

Desktop Search integrates with the Windows shell in order to expose rich functionality for manipulating results, including drag and drop, multi-select, column sorting, and right-clicking to get context menus. 


The end result is that desktop search results are not displayed in a web page, and that’s why Mozilla can’t display MSN desktop results.  The MSN Search desktop results view is much more akin to the view you get in Windows Explorer when you type “c:” in the address bar than the IE view you get after entering a URL.


Why don’t you show email search results in Outlook? 

We would have loved to do this, but it is not possible with the Outlook APIs. 


How come you don’t store and index visited web pages?

Customer privacy is a top priority for us.  We do not store and index web pages that have been visited or that are in the temporary cache. By taking this approach we avoid indexing sensitive information like online bank statements.  Additionally, when you delete files or emails from your computer or your email, the index will get updated so these files will be permanently removed from the index.  In future releases, we’ll look to see how this can be done in a privacy-friendly manner. 


More to come later, but before leaving off, did you know you can save your most common Desktop Searches?  Here is how:


1. Enter your search into any toolbar

2a. From the results window drag the magnifying glass from the address bar to your desktop


2b. Add it to your Favorites using the “Add to Favorites…” menu item


– Bubba Murarka, Program Manager


PS: Have you tried the advanced query syntax?  You can learn about it here.

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