Microsoft has released a preview of an update to its Windows desktop-search tool to clear out bugs and improve the performance of the current technology.
Windows Search 4.0 is now available at the Microsoft Download Center. The update is for Microsoft's desktop search that allows users to search for various kinds of files -- such as documents, photos and the like -- stored anywhere on the PC.
According to a post on Microsoft's Windows Vista Team blog, Windows Search 4.0 fixes most of the bugs "causing a majority of distractions" for Vista users, and also improves query response time by 33 percent over the original RTM (release to manufacturing) version of Vista. For IT professionals, the update improves the performance of indexing information from Microsoft's Exchange Server when it's online, and also extends and improves support for Group Policy settings, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft made desktop search one of the key enhancements to Windows Vista and also linked it to search technology in the recently released Windows Server 2008 so PC users can search for files on the server from their client search. The moves are part of the company's strategy to improve all of its search offerings, which also include enterprise search and the Windows Live Internet search engine.
To bolster its enterprise search strategy, Microsoft recently purchased Oslo-based Fast Search and Transfer, a deal that should close in the next month or two. To improve its plans for Internet search, the company also has made an as-yet unaccepted US$44.6 billion bid for Yahoo.
The Windows 4.0 download works with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows XP Service Pack 3 or Vista.