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MSN Desktop Search

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OK, I decided to wait until I had a chance to play with it for a day before posting about MSN Desktop Search, especially since it has been posted on about 10,000 web sites.  I loaded it up yesterday morning and let it set off indexing my whole system (not just the default Outlook and My Docs stuff) first thing.  It took two hours which was no fun.  I had to let it just index everything in one go since my system is a mobile device (Sony U) and I didn’t want indexing to be firing up and down all day while I was on battery.  It was slllooooooowww.

Once all my info was indexed I played with it off and on and it is pretty impressive.  The search options and windows look good and are very easy to work with.  It is easily the most attractive of all the search programs out there.  I did have two problems that got on my nerves, one I could live with (for a while) and one I couldn’t.  Every time I open Outlook it has to index all the new email that is downloaded upon program start and that causes an annoying delay before I could get productive.  Not a killer but grating.  The second problem is the killer for me and the reason I just removed it from my system.  Something MSN Search is doing interferes with the suspend in Windows XP.  I use my device all day on battery power and suspend and resume all day.  Three times my Sony wouldn’t suspend, requiring a complete reboot to get suspend back.  Three times I had to wait forever for WinXP to reboot.  And rebooting is so hard on the battery. 

I am going to keep my eye on MSN Desktop Search for future versions as I am sure Microsoft will address these problems eventually.  Meanwhile I am quite happy using my favorite search tool, Copernic Desktop Search.

5 Responses to “MSN Desktop Search”

  1. Jason Marchmon

    Although I’m not a fan of the general bloat found in many Microsoft products, I really like the Desktop Search feature of the suite. I got very mixed results with Copernic DS on my Tablet PC, but after the initial index of MDS it caught everything I threw at it. Copernic would drop files from the index (ones it had previously reported) at seemingly random increments, and displayed some other odd behavior. I could search for a term, locate a file, then perform the same search an hour later and get nothing. My wife still uses Copernic on her computer, and it works fine, but not on the Tablet. The only problem I have with MDS is that it’s tied to Explorer. I was running Blackbox for Windows as my shell, but after installing MDS, everytime I started a search, Explorer loaded on top of Blackbox. But I’ll sacrifice the extra MB of RAM for the performance of MDS.

  2. Have you provided this information to the MSN Search team?

    The Desktop Search Suite is still a beta product. I’m told there should be a new “refresh” soon but it will still be considered beta.

    I’m sure they’d love to hear about any problem you’re having so that they can be fixed :)

  3. I don’t know what version of Outlook you use.

    I was just thinking like a support tech but if Outlook 2003 is connected to a 20003 Exchange server and has cached mode turned on, when Outlook refreshes the offline cache it could be viewed as a new file and has to be indexed again. I hope that is not the case because you would expect that Microsoft would have anticipated this.

  4. Google Desktop Search does not interfere with Suspend for me. I used it for a while and it worked OK but eventually I settled on Copernic. Google bothered me in that it cached and saved junk mail that Outlook automatically got rid of. Search results were then returning objectionable material.