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Announcing MSN Desktop Search

Today we officially announced the Beta release of MSN Toolbar Suite with Desktop Search.  We are excited to hear what you think and to see how Desktop Search gets used.  Check it out at when you have a chance and send us feedback!


With Desktop Search you can quickly find files, emails or pictures on your computer.  We hope you find it’s not just a fast way to search, it’s a better way to get your everyday tasks done. 


Over the next few weeks we are planning to write up some of our favorite tips and tricks for getting the most out of Desktop Search. Here are two quick ones to get you started in the right way:


Start any task, quicker

By default you can jump focus to the Deskbar by pressing CTR+ALT+M.  For fans of the Window’s key – go to Deskbar options and enter SHIFT+Q (or any letter not already in use).  Now when you press Windows+Q you’ll jump to the Deskbar and be ready to search right away. 


Find entire conversations

After finding an email you were looking for, try right-clicking on it.  Select “Show Conversation” and we’ll automatically refine the search results to show all the emails from the conversation thread. 


- David Dawson, Group Program Manager, MSN Desktop Search

p.s: Channel 9 posted some interviews with the Desktop Search Team this morning.  Check them out to find out more about how the product was built!


  • It doesn't support Win2k3, is there any reason for this? Can we expect 2k3 support anytime soon? Please?
  • Does this use the Indexing Service?
  • See ! Get a video demo! Meet the team!
  • I was hoping to ask the following question during the conference call:

    Seeing that the beta MSN is currently being integrated into the toolbar, the SEO community will be chomping at the bit to know: when can we expect MSN to dump Inktomi and go with its own search results?
  • Very impressive. Great job by the MSN Search team. :)

    I'm just having one problem - I have set Outlook 2003 as the default mail client (within Outlook's options and IE's settings), but I can't seem to select it for indexing. It's greyed out, and it says I need to set Outlook as the default mail application.

    Outlook is already running and has the MSN toolbar at the top, by the way.

    Any ideas?
  • Is this a replacement for Lookout?
  • A great step ahead, though why offer an additional application for users to download and install while Microsoft could have fixed or improved the search functionality built into Windows with an OS update?

    Also, now that I do have MSN Desktop Search, I'd like it if it did not require Internet Explorer. And how about indexing mail in Lotus Notes, Mozilla Thunderbird (Netscape Mail) or Eudora?
  • Leo: yes.

    But it doesn't contain Lookout code. They rewrote the Lookout part from scratch. So, it should be even better.
  • I also want support for Win2003...
    I use that as my primare development pc, and I really want the toolbar for the new MSN search to replace my google toolbar...

    Any plans on supporting Win2003 soon?
    I don't care about the desktop search, just the IE toolbar ;)
  • It doesn't support W2K3, which I use as my desktop since I develop and test server software. So I can't provide any more feedback other than it won't install for me. I kind of understood why Windows Media Player 10 wouldn't install on W2K3, but Desktop Search? This seems like a bad trend to me.
  • There's a mention of a PDF plug-in. This is the very reason why I pounced on the new software... where's the plug in? Ironically, I've searched but can't find.

    It would be nice if you could re-size the search box in the toolbar too.
  • You can find the link at to the adobe pdf ifiliter on the final install page:

    Its in the upper right hand corner - click to download and install.
  • Re Kunal Kundaje comment - here is a fix that should work:

    1. On the Start menu, click Run.

    2. Type the following: reg delete HKCU\Software\Clients\Mail and click OK.

    3. In the command prompt window, type Y and then press ENTER.
  • Awesome! That did it.
    Thanks Bubba!
  • I really like what you did with the stuff. The ability to create shortcuts is awesome! I love being able to search Google groups or lookup words in a dictionary with a single command.

    I have one request.... PLEASE BRING BACK WEB CACHE SEARCHING. This is a favorite feature of Google. I will find myself using Google more often than not because of it. I love remembering I read something on the Internet and being able to search my web history. I understand the privacy concerns; maybe add it as a feature and leave it turned off by default.