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MSN Desktop Search Beta

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#1
Just released today. See the news post :)

Downloaded and installed. Here are some screenshots:

Setup:


Deskbar Options:


Indexing Status window:


Indexing Complete notification (MSN Messenger style):


Instant Deskbar Search:


Instant Complete Search (with excerpts of documents):
 
#4
I wasn't able to try Google Desktop because of the incompatibility with NOD32, but just a few comparisons:

1. You have the option of indexing ALL files on your drives. I'm not sure...does Google give you that option, or does it only index the My Documents folder and email?
2. PDF indexing - this is a big one. As far as I know, Google Desktop doesn't index the contents of PDF files yet.
3. Find email conversations - after finding an email you are looking for, you can right-click on it, select “Show Conversation” and it refines the search results to show all the emails from the conversation thread.

Edit: I have finals this week, but I'll look deeper into this over the weekend and post my thoughts here. :)
 
#6
Threads Merged

Some other neat stuff you can do with the deskbar :)

- Prefix something with = and you can use the deskbar as a replacement for Start>Run or the Start menu programs folder. For example, =notepad opens up Notepad.

- Create shortcuts: @shortcut_name,shortcut_path
For example, use @foo,C:\blah\foo.exe to create the shortcut once, and just use @foo to launch C:\blah\foo.exe from now on. Also works with non-executable files and webpage URLs. So you can effectively use your MSN deskbar for quick Google searches too. ;)

By the way, the email conversations feature I mentioned earlier works really nicely too. I initially had a small problem with the app not recognizing Outlook although it was my email client, so I couldn't try it earlier. Posted a comment on the official MSN Search blog, and got a very quick response from one of the developers.
 
#7
So did anyone else try it out yet? It's very cool. I'd highly recommend it. Will be doing a sort of comparative review later this week, as I mentioned earlier, since a number of people want to know how it compares to Google's offering.
 

onimkron

OSNN Senior Addict
#8
I was wondering how well this compares with copernic's own searching software. I've been having a go with it on a different comp, and it seems to be pretty good. Might try this once it leaves beta :)
 

Perris Calderon

Administrator
Staff member
Political User
#9
well, I think this should be tons better then googles...after all, ms has unpublished api's

I'm gonna definately give this a go when I get home

nice post net...reps coming
 

Perris Calderon

Administrator
Staff member
Political User
#10
damn it...the rep window came up that said "ep won't allow more points to net till I give him some"

boy, he can really hack the vb

k...I'll give some to you in teh near future
 

Khayman

I'm sorry Hal...
Political User
#12
i installed it the other day, its still indexing. seems slows the computer down, even when it says its not doing anything cause the computers busy (which it is most of the time).

Havn't really used it since i don't need to search my computer often, cause i know where most things are
 
#13
Khayman said:
i installed it the other day, its still indexing. seems slows the computer down, even when it says its not doing anything cause the computers busy (which it is most of the time).
Did you change the settings so that it indexes every folder on every drive? By default, it indexes only your documents folder and email. That should happen fairly quickly.

I found the full disk indexing to be overkill...I don't really ever need to search the contents of random files, and it takes far longer to finish the indexing process if you select that option since it basically has to go through every file on your drive and index the contents and/or metadata.

I just leave it at the default option. Being able to instantly search through the contents of my emails, homework, source code, presentations, and eBooks is really cool and very convenient. :)
 
#15
Khayman said:
there are many files not in my documents i occasionally look through
You should use the third option then - "Specific Locations"

Just check the folders that you really need indexed. It not only reduces initial indexing time, but will also reduce the size of the index, which saves disk space and reduces search time. It will also give you more relevent results (rather than having a bunch of log files from the Windows folder coming in the way, for example).

There are still some people who prefer to have their whole drive indexed. If that's the case, the initial indexing time is the only painful part. Possibly let it do it's thing overnight? Once the index is built up completely, it constantly receives notifications to update the index only when any changes are made.
 

Perris Calderon

Administrator
Staff member
Political User
#17
I think this'll search your entire hardrive vern...I set it to do that...I can wait untill it's finnished indexing, that's not a big deal

when it's done, I"ll put something in firefox and see if this search engine will discover what's there...I'll post back

great thread net
 

vern

Dominus
Political User
#18
yeah, post back your results perris ... it'll be interesting to see as I have the Google desktop search now.
 
#19
vern said:
I'm never going to use this since they'll never include files from competing software such as Firefox.
What do you mean by files from Firefox?

Besides your bookmarks/favorites, there's nothing browser-related to index. Google Desktop Search, in case you didn't already know, has faced some severe criticism for the security and privacy implications due to browser cache indexing. Apparently, it displayed webmail messages and bank account details even after you had logged out, which is a huge issue. The MSN Search team deliberately chose not to implement this "feature" for that reason.

It's true that MDS won't index your mailbox if you're using Thunderbird, but as far as I know, none of the others (including GDS) do that either.
 
#20
perris said:
I think this'll search your entire hardrive vern...I set it to do that...I can wait untill it's finnished indexing, that's not a big deal
Just a little tip in case you're leaving the system unattended while the indexing is on.
Open up Task Manager and increase the priority of the MSNIndex.exe and MSNGather.exe processes. Then right click the tray icon and select Index Now, which explicitly tells the process to begin doing it's job, or resume if it was paused.

I actually set the process priority to Realtime and noticed that the indexing got done pretty fast. Just make sure you reset it back to normal priority once it's done or when you get back to work on your machine. :)
 
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