XP Strikes Back with Windows Desktop Search

XP Strikes Back with Windows Desktop Search

Don't Envy Vista's Instant Search, Get Your Own

Jealous of Windows Vista's lightning-fast instant desktop search? Sick and tired of Rover, the lame-o Windows XP search companion and his equally boring friends? What you need, my Windows XP loyalist, is Windows Desktop Search for Windows XP.

Getting Your Hands on Windows Desktop Search

Windows Desktop Search (WDS) is now in version 3.01, and you can get it free from the Microsoft Download Center.

You must have Windows XP SP2 to download WDS, and (as you might expect by now), it's only available to users with a genuine Windows XP SP2 installation. The download size ranges from 4.7MB to 9.4MB, and you can download either an .exe or an .msi (Windows installation file) version: your choice. The current version, 3.01, replaces earlier versions, and if you're using MS Office 2007 or OneNote 2007, it provides integrated indexing. If you're already using Windows Desktop Search, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 917013 to learn more about what's new and improved, and to find links to versions for Windows Server 2003 and x64 Windows XP, as well as a multilingual user interface pack.

Windows Desktop Search 3.01 In Action

After you install WDS, it doesn't change your desktop much: you'll see a small search window on the right end of the taskbar. But, enter a search phrase, and WDS instantly brings up matching files on your system. Search results are divided into various categories, such as Pictures and Videos, Communications (email), Files, and Everything. Each search item is identified with the appropriate icon for the file type.

Searching the Web with Windows Desktop Search

Click the Web button, and Windows Live Search opens in your browser window to bring you matches from around the world.

Advanced Search Features

Press Enter after performing a search, and the search results are displayed in the Windows Desktop Search dialog.

The right pane provides a preview of the file contents, and you can use the buttons above the file and preview panes to filter matching files by type.

Farewell, Rover - and Good Riddance!

When you install WDC, it sends Rover and the rest of his friends to the sidelines. When you click Search from the Windows Start menu, WDC offers the same supercharged file search you can perform from the desktop, along with options to filter by size, date, folder and other settings. If you get lonely for Rover, scroll down to the bottom of the dialog, and you can bring him back for an encore.

Taste of the Future, or Reason to Stay with XP?

Essentially, WDC gives Windows XP users the major features of Vista's Instant Desktop Search in a fast, free package. Whether you're planning to move to Vista in the near future or are looking for more reasons to stay with XP for the foreseeable future, Windows Desktop Search brings faster, better, smarter searches to Windows XP.



+ Add a Comment


Hey guys,

well, I've also checked the WDS and in my opinion, it is not as fast as other search-progs and not as accurate...and the handling is complicated. when you are searching for an email contact, you have to klick you thorugh, that needs time and time is money. that's the reason why I use lookeen for my business as well as for my private purposes. lookeen is an outlook plug in and offers lots of features like searching in public folders using shared index...tried this with WDS...no success! in lookeen: 3 klicks! really made a good deal, but you can try it 30 days for free (I also used this time to get in touch with it)...




greezt, malcom



How do I uninstall it? HELP ME. This thing sucks.



If Windows Desktop Search isn't working for you, open Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs, Change or Remove Programs, and scroll down to the Windows Desktop Search icon. Click Remove, and note the names of any programs listed. Click Yes to complete removal. Click Finish, then restart.

It's amazing how illogical a business built on binary logic can be.



I've tried the Windows Desktop Search for XP back when Office 2007 was released. Sure it's neat, but unless you're running a quad core system, with 4GB of RAM, it SERIOUSLY slows down your system.

I'm running a dual core Athlon X2 4400+ at 2.475GHz with 2GB RAM & it caused nothing but lag, so I got rid of it after just 2 days. I thought after the first day, that it just needed more time to index everything, but wake up 2nd morning after install & my computer was still slow as molasses. When I got home from work late that night & tried to play Supreme Commander & faced very noticeable lag in gameplay, I just said enough & removed WDS.



So how does WDC compare to Google Desktop? Faster, better integration, etc?? Google buggers up on a few of my older machines, so if WDC does a better job, then I'm all for it. If not, it sure seems like it's just a rehash of another companies product.



Very interesting that Microsoft actually did this search update for WinXP SP2, considering they have been having the attitude of, "We want you to switch to Vista, so we are essentially snubbing XP now."

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