MSN Desktop Search

I can barely keep up! On Monday, MSN announced the beta of their Desktop search toolbar. At first glance it appears to be the re-branded version of Lookout, the desktop search tool that was purchased back in July. MSN is calling it a “suite” which kind of goes against the popular thinking of these tools as a unified, all-in-one, search utility.

A couple of comments after playing around with it:

  • doesn’t support indexing of .pst files. Although there is a file tree in which you can specify folders you want included in the crawl, for some reason the default folder where the Outlook Archive files are stored is hidden.
  • doesn’t index the browser cache – a feature that freaked a lot of people out at first when Google Desktop Search launched but was later appreciated. Bonus points to the first Mircrosoft competitor¬† (Google or Yahoo) that adds Firefox cache to the index crawl.
  • doesn’t allow you to drill down to exclude specific Outlook folders from the crawl. This is a problem for anyone using add-ins such as SpamBayes to manage their junk mail. You certainly don’t want junk mail in a search index.

Reading through the comments on the MSN Search blog, Scoble mentions that that the Lookout code was completely re-written from scratch. I wonder what they changed?

My main nit is that now they’ve integrated search results under the Microsoft umbrella, it would be great to add drag and drop so that you can pull things out of the results window into specific folders either in Outlook or the File Manager.

Current Events

FCC and Doraemon

fccdoraemon.JPGThis is old news but Terrie Lloyd, who’s always good a picking up tidbits for his excellent email newsletter “Terrie’s Take” highlights the striking resemblence of the new FCC mascot, “Broadband” to Doraemon, the cartoon every Japanese kid knows by sight. Turns out the publisher of Doaemon, Shougakkan, is going to take legal action but it’ll be interesting to see how a suit lodged by a private Japanese company works out against a US government organization.

It will be interesting to see if a Japanese copyright claim against a US government department will be received with as as much vigor as trade disputes in the opposite direction. Expect to see more about this on slow news days on NHK and other Japanese media…


Yahoo Desktop Search

Yahoo! throws down a card in the ever escalating search wars. Based on X1, the Yahoo engine will not only index content on your hard drive but, according to John Battelle’s information, will also  reach out and find relevant information in and among the Yahoo properties.

Look for release early next year.