Microsoft warns of impending Windows Search auto update

Most Vista SP1 users will get it automatically, XP users won't

Microsoft has warned Windows users that it will soon turn on automatic distribution for a major search update that requires machines to re-index all local data.

In a post added to the Microsoft Update team's blog Friday, the company said it is planning to release Windows Search 4.0 to Windows Update "sometime in late July." Windows Search 4.0, which went final in early June, sports stability and reliability improvements, Microsoft said at the time, and gives more control to enterprise IT administrators over users' access to and use of search.

Windows Search 4.0 will be offered to Windows XP users as an optional update, Microsoft said; anyone running the older operating system must call up the Windows Update (WU) service manually, then select the search update.

Most users running Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), however, will find that the search update downloads and installs automatically, as it will be listed as a recommended update for that OS. "If a Windows Vista user has set their machine to automatically install updates, Windows Search 4.0 will automatically install on PCs running Windows Vista SP1," said Microsoft.

After installing, Windows Desktop 4.0 will completely re-index the user's data, a prerequisite for executing fast local searches. Depending on the amount of data on the machine and Windows Desktop 4.0's settings, re-indexing can take as long as several hours.

Microsoft, however, downplayed the performance drag of the update's re-indexing, claiming that the new tool is intelligent enough to free up other resources when they're needed. "Windows Search will release most of the requested resources and slow down the indexing process as soon as it detects mouse or keyboard activity, or when another application requires computer resources," Microsoft said.

Enterprise administrators armed with System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) 2007, or the older System Management Server (SMS) 2003, have been able to deploy the search update since June, but businesses that rely on Microsoft's free Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) will see it hit automatic deployment when the update reaches Windows Update. WSUS administrators can block the automatic distribution of the update using a batch script that Microsoft provided in a support document. The batch file doesn't bar users from downloading Windows Search 4.0 from Microsoft's download site, however.

Microsoft's advance warning may be part of its reaction to major search-related snafu last October, when the company first denied, then later admitted, pushing Windows Desktop Search to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 systems without WSUS administrators' approval.

Bobbie Harder, a program manager on the WSUS team, issued an apology at the time and promised that the mistake would not be made again.

Windows Search 4.0 will update the search features in Windows Vista SP1, Windows XP SP2 and Windows XP SP3, Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Home Server, said Microsoft.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?