Hi, my name is Jane Maliouta and I am a Program Manager on the IE Team working on the Windows Search Guide.
Throughout the development cycle, we’ve blogged about Search in IE7. The Windows Search Guide is part of Instant Search, a new feature in IE7. The search guide page displays search providers that users can select to customize the list in the Instant Search drop down. The providers displayed in the Windows Search Guide are the most popular for each region based on 3rd party website traffic data. Over time these providers will be updated to reflect the most up-to-date popularity.
Accessing the Windows Search Guide is easy. Simply go to the drop down menu of the IE7 Instant Search and select Find More Providers:
In the latest version of the Search Guide, we’ve added a really cool feature called Create Your Own. You can use this feature to add custom search providers to Instant Search. Just follow 5 easy steps to install your favourite search provider, if it’s not already listed on the Search Guide. Any search providers that display the search terms in the URL are supported by the feature. There is also a way for you to tweak the character encoding if you find that some of the characters do not appear correctly after the search provider has been installed. (By default, the feature uses UTF-8, so unless you know the exact character encoding of the provider, I recommend you stick with the default as its most common)
Create Your Own is present in all English guides and will be soon available in the localized versions of the Windows Search Guide as they are released.
So far, we’ve released the Windows Search Guide in the following localized versions: Japanese, German, Spanish, French, English–North America, English–International, and English-United Kingdom. For those of you who are waiting for the final localized versions of IE7 to be released, the available search guides also work with RC1.
The English guides have the new look and feel along with the new Create Your Own feature, as displayed above. As we continue to release localized versions of IE7, look for the new updates to the Localized Search guides to match the English ones.
If you have not yet tried Windows Search Guide, go check it out and let me know what you think.