Thursday, June 16, 2005

Personal Technology -- Free Microsoft Stopgap Offers Tabbed Browsing And Desktop Searching

Personal Technology -- Free Microsoft Stopgap Offers Tabbed Browsing And Desktop Searching: "Windows won't have integrated desktop search until the fall of 2006, and IE won't have built-in tabbed browsing until this summer. But Microsoft has just released a free product that adds both features to Windows computers. These add-on versions of desktop search and tabbed browsing aren't as good as their built-in counterparts, but they get the basic job done.
Microsoft's new, free utility goes by the ridiculously long name of MSN Search Toolbar With Windows Desktop Search, and it can be downloaded at toolbar.msn.com. When you download the toolbar, it adds a new row of icons and drop-down menus to the IE browser. Many of these are aimed at driving users to other MSN products, like its Hotmail email service. But you can also use the toolbar to turn on tabbed browsing and to perform desktop searches.
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In my tests, MSN search did pretty well at finding things, but not as well as Apple's. Because it is built into the operating system, the Apple search feature could turn up words in emails seconds after they arrived. The MSN search had to wait to index newly arrived files.
The new MSN toolbar is a decent stopgap effort at desktop search and tabbed browsing. But I hope the integrated implementation of these features from Microsoft is better."

Not every day you see Microsoft critics looking forward to more feature/function integration at the OS level.
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