It seems December is a good month for new releases from MSN. From Microsoft PressPass we learn Microsoft Introduces MSN Toolbar Suite Beta With Desktop Search , specifically
Microsoft Corp. today introduced a beta version of its new MSN® Toolbar Suite...The free suite of MSN search tools, available now in the United States at http://beta.toolbar.msn.com, is the latest development in a comprehensive MSN Search service that helps consumers more quickly find precisely what they are looking for and gives them more control over their search experience. The new MSN Toolbar Suite includes an updated version of the popular MSN Toolbar for Microsoft® Internet Explorer and new toolbars that are conveniently accessible through Windows and Microsoft Office Outlook®. The new toolbars include the MSN Deskbar for the Windows desktop, MSN Toolbar for Microsoft Office Outlook and MSN Toolbar for Microsoft Windows Explorer.
Being the MSN geek I am I hightailed it to http://beta.toolbar.msn.com to try out the the new Toolbar suite. So far the only part that has held my interest is the MSN Toolbar for Outlook which looks like a decent replacement for LookOut. The desktop search doesn't really interest me because I don't lose files on my hard drive and the Internet Explorer toolbar adds just a tad bit of clutter to IE (see below for screenshot). I use the Yahoo! toolbar all the time since it has my bookmarks and links to a lot of Yahoo! services I use (Maps, Movies, Mail, Finance, etc). I use the Google toolbar for search. The MSN toolbar doesn't really give me anything I want enough to lose the screen real estate although the quick links to MSN Spaces are nice. If you haven't installed any of the other toolbars then the MSN toolbar is as good as any of he others since the core functionality is the same but it doesn't have enough to get someone like me who's already using two IE add-in toolbars to add a third.
I also dislike the fact that it refused to install on my Windows 2003 machine.