Skip to main content

What's missing in MSN Search Toolbar

Paul Thurrott does an extensive review of MSN Search Toolbar with Windows Desktop Search and says that is the best tool available to Windows users, and a must-have addition to any XP user's desktop. It's fast, free, and functional, and offers virtually every feature you'll ever need. And thanks to its open architecture, companies can create custom iFilter extensions that let WDS index any file type. This will prove hugely important for corporations that have created proprietary file types, but it also means that WDS can be instantly updated should some popular new document type hit the Web tomorrow.

No software is perfect and the missing features that Paul mentions are also an extension to my previous post MSN - You could not win my heart :

WDS finds documents (and email), and not "files." The distinction is important. If you want to find every document you've written that includes the text "MSN," WDS is a great tool. If you want to find files like msn.dll, WDS can't help you. That's by design, of course. But sometimes you need to find files.

WDS is incapable of winnowing down results beyond its stock document type filtering (documents, email, music, etc.). Let's say you perform a search that retrieves hundreds of results and would like to narrow the search from there. WDS doesn't offer a way to query only the existing results.

WDS also lacks some high-end features, like the ability to save dynamic search results in a special folder, as Apple does with Spotlight's Smart Folder feature.

WDS doesn't offer a way to open up a discrete location in the file system and launch a search of just that location (and, optionally, all of the folders logically found under that location).