Announcing the Windows Search 4.0 Preview

March 27, 2008 – 4:38 PM

To search for files on my PCs, I use Windows Search – Windows Vista’s desktop search feature. I use Windows Search specifically to find photos that I’ve tagged in Windows Live Photo Gallery or important emails and Word documents. I also rely on saving specific searches that I can go back to later on. Searching and being able to find important files quickly on my PC is very important to me.  And Windows Search allows me to “find my stuff” whenever I need to. Today we get to see a little “preview” of the next step for Windows Search. The Windows Search Team is making available Windows Search 4.0 Preview – a preview of the next version of desktop search for Windows.Windows Search 4.0 introduces several improvements I’d like to call out making search even better in Windows Vista:

  • With Windows Search 4.0, the Windows Search Team has fixed most of the reported bugs causing a majority of distractions users have seen since Windows Vista RTM – many of those bugs were reported by you.
  • Great improvements have been made with regards to performance.Even now as Preview, Windows Search 4.0 has query response time about 33%faster than search queries in Windows Vista RTM.
  • The Windows Search Team has extended Remote Index Discovery for PC-to-PC search to work onevery supported version of Windows. This makes finding information on other PCs running Windows Search 4.0 quick and less resource-consuming. Now Windows Search can find information shared on a remote PC by accessing an index on that PC – and you will open files only when relevant to your search. This will also work if the user’s profile is redirected.
  • The Windows Search Team has implemented Rollback Recovery where your search index will roll back to the last known good state (this is good in handling disc write errors). If an error occurs, your index isn’t rebuilt from scratch; only the newly changed files are added to the index, making recovery from system errors not as disruptive to the machine or the user

Being able to find files isn’t just important to consumers – it is also important to IT Professionals managing enterprise environments. The Windows Search Team has made some improvements in Windows Search 4.0 that IT Professionals should take note of:

  • We have improved performance when indexing Exchange in online mode, sending fewer packets and making less RPC calls. In this process we apply significantly less load on the Exchange server too.
  • Support for Group Policy settings is extended and improved; per-user policy is supported now.
  • We now support EFS – Windows Search 4.0 will index encrypted files, and user can search for them in the sane UI and through the same user experience as seen with regular, unencrypted files.

IT Professionals can expect a smooth deployment for Windows Search 4.0 and easier support.

With Windows Search 4.0, the Windows Search Team has taken the next step in improving the PC search experience in Windows. To download and check out the Windows Search 4.0 Preview yourself, click here. I encourage folks to try out the Windows Search 4.0 Preview and let us know what you think!

Source: Windows Vista Team Blog

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