Friday, January 21, 2005

Windows file search and desktop search

Jon Udell has the details on why Windows file search is so broken.

Not only is indexing turned off by default, but, even if you turn it on, Windows will bypass the index "as soon as even one unindexed file lands on your disk."

Think that's weird? It gets weirder. According to Simon Burns, you can force Windows to use the indexes by adding '!' or '@' as a prefix to your query, making it as lightning fast. As it should be.

Desktop search applications are hot right now. Everyone and their mother seems to have written one. But the only reason there's even an opportunity here is that the default file search in Windows is so pitifully slow.

Of course, it's not hard for Microsoft to eliminate the opportunity they created. If they fix Windows file search, either by patching the existing functionality or by integrating MSN Desktop Search into Windows, this game is over.

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