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Summary:

What initially looked like polite, respectful competition over productivity apps just might turn into a feud. Remember that Google Apps Sync program we told you about earlier this month? That’s the plug-in that essentially helps Microsoft Outlook users replace Exchange with Google’s Gmail. I figured Microsoft […]

google-logoWhat initially looked like polite, respectful competition over productivity apps just might turn into a feud. Remember that Google Apps Sync program we told you about earlier this month? That’s the plug-in that essentially helps Microsoft Outlook users replace Exchange with Google’s Gmail. I figured Microsoft wouldn’t be too keen to have Google continue treading on its productivity turf, but what could it do about it? Today, I found out.

Microsoft is taking to the airwaves Internet and warning folks about two issues caused by Google Apps Sync, both of which are due to registry key changes made by Google’s plug-in. First, Microsoft says you’ll lose the search feature within Outlook because it relies upon indexing from Windows Desktop Search. That’s one of the registry key changes that Google’s plug-in makes: It disables the indexing of all Outlook data.

The second registry key modifier affects users of the Microsoft Office for Outlook Connector. If you use this function to sync mail between Windows Live Hotmail and Outlook, you’ll routinely see an error message stating that some functionality is disabled.

I haven’t used Outlook and Exchange for nearly two years now, but I’m wondering how much of an “issue” the first point is at all. I’m guessing (and hoping one of you have tried this out) that you can still search Outlook for contacts, events and mail after you install Google’s plug-in. After all, Google’s core competency is in search, right? My suspicion is that the indexing takes place through Google and not Microsoft, so if you’re in Outlook and using Google Apps Sync, you can still find things. The results would just be returned from Google, not Microsoft. Now if you use Windows Desktop Search to look for those items, I can see the problem, although the resolution would be to use Outlook or perhaps Google’s own Desktop Search. Thoughts?

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  1. I haven’t tested this myself, but WDS plays a huge part in Outlook 2007, without it, Instant Search is turned off. And since Outlook is listed as a single item in the Indexing options, I doubt it could just break out the email search and still allow indexing of Contacts, etc…

    I used WDS in XP and its successor now in Vista & Win7 and I use it constantly throughout the day for looking up contacts, I just hit Start and then start typing in the person’s name. While the added Google functionality is great, I wouldn’t change my work flow for it.

    Not sure if this is an oversight or a function of that registry key, but if you check out the Google Apps Sync video you linked to on the 9th, under the Outlook 2007 search box at the top of the mail listing, you can see the yellow bar: Click here to enable Instant Search – you usually see that on an XP machines without WDS, which could just be the case with their demo machine?

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  2. Your conjecture is incorrect.

    This disables any and all ability to search within Outlook 2007. Installing Google Apps Sync does not install an alternative indexer, and even if it did, Outlook would not know how to query it.

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    1. Good to know Brandon. I didn’t have any way to test my thought. Since you work work at Microsoft on Explorer for Windows 7, I appreciate the confirmation of the issue. This sounds like a bigger issue than I first anticipated and hope that Google and Microsoft work something out to resolve it!

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  3. @kevin:

    not microsoft should work out something but google has to!! it´s not microsoft´s fault that google apps kills the search function of outlook.

    I am not affected by this issue, i use an alternative search tool called Lookeen. But if i would install google apps and i want to search with instant search one day, this won´t work. and this is the fault of google? i´m wondering why they do not test their software???

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  4. I found this piece of information to fix this issue at Outlook team blog. Hope this will help . U just have to follow the steps given below:
    1) Press the Windows Key + R on your keyboard, and type “REGEDIT”. This will open the Windows Registry Editor.

    2) Browse to the following: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsWindows Search”

    3) You will manually have to reset the value of “PreventIndexingOutlook” to “0” (without the quotes). To do this, right click on the “PreventIndexingOutlook” key, select “Modify…”, then change the value data to “0”.

    4) Close the registry editor.

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    1. Yes, that info is from the second link in the above post.

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  5. Oops! You are right.

    Thanks.

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  6. Its hard to imagine using a mail client without search. Some sync tool it is. HyperShare is much better, as it has never caused any issues in the working of Outlook itself. Besides, their online client is also much closer to Outlook than Gmail, which is from another planet.

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  7. The same problem – outlook doesn’t search (it searches but doesn’t find). Win7 (RC), Outlook 2007. I didn’t find any register like PreventIndexingOutlook …several days without search (deep hell!)…. the solution was to install the newest google sync again,restart, uninstal, restart and JUPIIIIII it works!

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