October 22, 2004 1:56 PM PDT

Microsoft fixes date for desktop search tool

Microsoft has set a firmer date for the release of its desktop search software, after Google launched a test version of its rival program for scouring a PC's hard drive.

During its earnings call with financial analysts, Microsoft said an MSN-branded tool would be made available before the end of 2004. The tool and an algorithmic Web searching engine will be in beta testing by year's end, a representative said Friday.

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Microsoft first demonstrated the technology for its own desktop search tool at a financial analysts' conference in July. At the time, MSN executive Yusuf Mehdi would say only that it would be out before the release of Longhorn, the next version of Windows, scheduled for 2006.

Yahoo and Microsoft have been making acquisitions to boost their capabilities in this area. In July, Microsoft bought Lookout Software, which has a program for searching within Outlook e-mail. Yahoo acquired Oddpost in July and said this week that it would buy Stata Labs.

Google has emerged as a key rival to Microsoft. In addition to the battle over search, the company is seen as a potentially broader competitor in several areas, including the market for Web browsing and instant messaging.

Google also confirmed this week that it is opening an office in Kirkland, Wash., a Seattle suburb not far from Microsoft's Redmond headquarters.

CNET News.com's Stefanie Olsen contributed to this report.

5 comments

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It's cool but is there a demand for this?!
A desktop search tool. Sure, it might be useful occassionally, but is there a real need for this? If you're pretty organized, the default desktop search tool that's already built into windows is sufficient. What does everyone else think?
Posted by jaximflash (236 comments )
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I think there's a demand
"If you're pretty organized..."

This may be a good tool for those people who aren't organized.

"the default desktop search tool that's already built into windows
is sufficient"

...but not overly quick. If these new tools do some kind of pre-
emptive indexing to make searching very, very quick, they will
be nice additions and cut down on the frustration factor. For
example, I use a program called TextPad. It has a feature to
"search in files" that is amazingly faster than if I did the same
thing using the Windows built-in search. And I don't believe it
does any prior indexing. Windows Search needs to become much
faster in finding results.
Posted by dejo (182 comments )
Link Flag
Current windows search has so many limitations
It sometimes doesn't let me find my .java and .c files.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://labnol.blogspot.com" target="_newWindow">http://labnol.blogspot.com</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://labnol.blogspot.com/2004/10/detailed-comparison-of-desktop-search.html" target="_newWindow">http://labnol.blogspot.com/2004/10/detailed-comparison-of-desktop-search.html</a>
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
What is missing in Desktop Search Tools
I have a wishlist of features that I would like to be included in next version of desktop search tools.

Read my comments here <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://labnol.blogspot.com" target="_newWindow">http://labnol.blogspot.com</a>

Feel free to add to this list of "what's missing"
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What a piece of garbage this code is! It run away with CPU and memory resource while you changes web pages, makes your scroll bars freeze so you can't do anything but wait on it to finish what ever the hell it's off doing on the web. I had to uninstall it to get control over my PC back. This is better defined as Mal-ware than as an enhancement. What a complete piece of junk. Nice work Microsoft...
Posted by Shorty_Says (1 comment )
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