Microsoft details Vista SP1 search changes

Microsoft released documents on Wednesday that detail changes it will make to its desktop search and indexing feature in Windows Vista that will be included as part of the Vista SP1 (Service Pack 1) update. The changes are a response to charges from rival Google that Microsoft built the feature in such a way that it slowed down competitive offerings from rivals. Microsoft agreed to make the changes as part of its ongoing antitrust proceedings with U.S. and state officials, and they were detailed as part of a status report filed in the case in June. To provide more information to the general public, the company posted documents online Wednesday that detail how third parties can help modify desktop search applications to work with the changes being made in SP1. Microsoft has said it will release SP1, a roll-up of updates to the Vista OS, in the first quarter of 2008.

Microsoft said it made the changes so that a customer who uses a third-party desktop search product instead of Vista's built-in feature can have "easy and direct access" to those offerings through the Windows user interface. "That means that in addition to the numerous ways a user could access a third-party search solution in Windows Vista, they can now get to their preferred search results from additional entry points in the Start Menu and Explorer Windows in Windows Vista SP1," the company said.

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News source: InfoWorld

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Microsoft’s much touted vista search leaves a lot to be desired. The front end is pretty nice, I like the search field in the start menu and the advance search options are not that bad the fatal flaw is the indexing options dialog. It’s a pain to work with and doesn’t have alot of options. These are the features that it should have come with:

1. The ability to index filenames only and to do it immediatly not when the machine is idle.
2. Indexing all filenames on the hard drive, dozens of file types are left unchecked and it’s time consuming to try and include them.
3. Seperating Filename search from Content search. I would say 90% of all searches are just users looking for where they put a file.
4. The ability to schedule a index rebuild.
5. Speed: Avafind can index 200 gigs in a few minutes while Vista indexing takes days.
6. Better include and exclude: I’d like to include file types by groups like documents and pictures and also be able to exclude them as well.
7. The one thing I would love but will never happen in a million years is the ability to install a better indexer from another company and still use the front end search fields. I’m sure another company could build a faster more feature rich indexer but Microsoft would never allow them to implement it. This is the true fatal flaw of Windows and Microsoft, using their monopoly power to stop others from actually improving Windows features.

I agree wholeheartedly, found this thread searching for 'vista index filename only' in fact.

I used avafind for to do this on XP, but it's not been updated in years sadly, has some bugs, and is a pain on vista. It has to have admin rights or wont index all files, only way to get it to run on boot with admin rights is to manually add it to the task scheduler yourself, could be a security risk. it keeps seeming to just vanish from my systray all the time with no warning or error too, only on vista, I just find it magically not running any more. it often leaves error logs after reboots.

Avafind's awesome otherwise, it's 'scout bot' hits CPU for nothing but keeps the index up to date on any I/O operation. I'd dearly love an up-to-date vista app that could do this properly, or simply the windows indexer to be properly configurable.

In the indexing control panel applet you can go into advanced options, and set it to 'properties only' or 'properties and file contents' for each filetype, BUT there's no way to edit more than one at a time, and there are hundreds, it's ridiculous!

I agree with Dan.P

If this is the case then we should force Apple to make similar moves and also force Apple to allow music bought from all music sites to work on the iPod? Is it going to happen? NO, because we seem to be anti-microsoft not really anti-monopoly

thats what i find weird. i understand the whole monopoly thing, but it just seems all like BS. macs are great computers, and advertised with macOS having all these great features, apps things built in while windows has exciting stuff like paint and calc. if MS were to start bundling apps like macOS has then theyd be in more trouble

Don't quote me on this.. But I'm sure the application programming interface for the Mac desktop search is closed too - they also bundle iTunes etc (even though that's a different issue!).

Microsoft made Windows.. IMO why should they give other companies access to the application programming interface of the whole OS?

I know it's not healthy for competition.. But did Google create Windows? No.. So Microsoft should have the right - if they want to - to not give them "easy and direct access to the Windows user interface".

First of all, Apple created Spotlight before any instant search options were available for Mac OS X. Secondly, they have much less of a marketshare. Third of all, the only alternative to Spotlight so far (afaik) is Google Desktop search, so Apple would essentially be letting one company into the API. And finally, once someone complains, I imagine Apple will comply.And I think it might be possible to build a search engine around Spotlight using a plugin. So, I think Apple will be fine for little while.

Dan.P said,
First the suits are after WMP, now Desktop Search... next, Adobe will be complaining about Paint being bundled!

Since Paintbrush/Paint has been a Windows applet since at least 3.0, I doubt that very much.

What the issues seem to be related to is that the APIs are not accessable for 3rd party applications to interface with. I'm not a programmer/software developer, but even I can understand and agree with that.

iCarry said,

Since Paintbrush/Paint has been a Windows applet since at least 3.0, I doubt that very much.

What the issues seem to be related to is that the APIs are not accessable for 3rd party applications to interface with. I'm not a programmer/software developer, but even I can understand and agree with that.

Actually WMP has been a Windows applet since 3.1 but yep they did get in trouble for that one!