MSN Desktop search beta – Usage update and my 2 cents


I got more time to play with the desktop search are was about to post my views on it. There has been ton of blogging going on and more information related reviews and user experience can be found at msnsearch blogscoble blog #1 and scoble blog # 2.

My first impression of the tool was “Good” and after using it for a couple of days, I think this is really a great attempt. Amazing what competetion can do to bring the best out of a company !!!! I wont reiterate all the “wow” or “not so wow” features of the desktop search and just concentrate on features that I found interesting or wanting.

1.  Shortcuts and Command launcher: Assigning shortcut to launch a process (@ keyword) or launch a process (= keyword) sounds cool, but I already have that option mastered by typing Windows + R key. What I liked though was have shortcut for replacing words in query strings ($w option). Instead of typing the shortcut and the query replacements in the search bar, I want it to be accessible from the command prompt or the Start->Run menu. This would be super cool and a feature that will really integrate search with day to day developer activities. Imagine working on a c# exe in command prompt and on error invoke my favorite web search engine to learn more about the error without having to leave the window or press any hot key combination.

2. Indexing time: I installed this on my laptop and let it run completely until it said it finished indexing all my harddrive. Then when I click on “Index Now” to see what happens (my SDET instincts kicked in 🙂 ), it reported another 11,000 files to be indexed. Thats strange..the indexer for some reason thinks there are more files to be indexed when the only activity I did was click on “Index Now”!!!. This considering that it reported to have indexed a total of 95000 files for the complete hard drive. Thats more that 10% of the files that it either didnt index the first time or “forgot” to index. Sounds like Enron accounting 🙂

3. Taskbar space: This was the part that I didnt really did not like. My laptop can accomadate only about 4 or 5 programs before I need a magnifying glass to see the small taskbar windows and this search text box takes precious space. I followed Scoble’s suggestion to drag the textbox on to desktop and let it hover but once I let it hover and opened someother window, the search textbox could not be viewed or brought back. The only way to see the textbox again was to click on “Hide Deskbar” and “Show Deskbar” menus. That kinda sucks. I want the textbox to be like a “Mac Widget” that just hovers on my desktop and when I access the hot key “ctrl+alt+m” it should come on top of all other open windows. Hope the search team incorporates this feature in the next update.

4. Taskbar hidden: When I have the taskbar hidden and the press the hot key to search, I dont see the textbox but just the popup that normally appears on top of the Textbox.

Complaints aside, the tool is a wonderful. Its trully amazing and very very fast and effecient and secure and …. I had uninstalled google desktop search the day I hit my hotmail userid and found all my hotmail mails that I had opened without even needing to log on (help..) (thanks to google showing a cached version of my page). I dont have any such security holes with msn desktop search.

Bottom line: I love it but for the features required. Have posted it to the msnsearch blog feedback and hopefully its considered.

 

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights

Comments (3)

  1. When you pressed Index Now but were already done with indexing it assumed you wanted to "refresh" your index so it put on the queue the 11,000 folders you have and quickly scanned to see if there was anything there it may have missed. You probably found the total number of items didn’t go up.

    As far as floating the deskbar, it should pop to the top when you press the hot-key. Try floating it again and maybe changing the hot key incase you’ve got some hotkey conflict.

    Although it does sound like you’re seeing some weird behavior with the deskbar. Pressing the hotkey is definitely supposed to put focus into it. If you could play around with it and let us know whether there’s some rhime or reason to the behavior you’re seeing that would help.

    dave

  2. mahjayar says:

    Dave

    Now that you mentioned it, I did notice that the total number of files indexed did not increase.

    Floating deskbar did not work "out of the box". The hot key assigned to it when I download is atrl + alt + m, but the problems I saw both while Hovering and Focus repro’d. I changes the hot key combination in options and then it started to work just as the way its supposed to. I then changed the combination to Ctrl+Alt+M again and this time it worked. I will try this behavior on another machine and post the update.

  3. 法国 says:

    Excellent And

    Merry Christmas

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