Improved Search with the MSN Toolbar Suite Beta

To-date, I've been very happy with the improved search capabilities that Lookout provides for Outlook users. I've also played a bit with Google Desktop Search, and I've found a number of documents on my computer that I thought I had lost. With the explosion of data (e-mail, digital photos, shared documents, etc.) that has occurred over the past decade and the decrease in storage costs, it's no surprise that search technology is a hot topic.

Today, we released the MSN Toolbar Suite Beta. It's a free download that enables keyword search of both e-mail and documents that are stored on your computer (you can also have it index network drives). In addition, it offers automatic form filling for web pages and a handy pop-up blocker. Some of these features are similar to those provided by the Google Toolbar, but I like the fact that the MSN Toolbars integrate everything into a single experience.

The installer adds keyword search to the Windows taskbar, Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Outlook, so searches can be initiated from any of these four locations. For more information, Channel 9 has a 53-minute video interview with the Toolbar Suite team, there are updates on the MSN Search blog, and Charlene Li of Forrester provides a short review (including a comparison with Google Desktop Search) on her blog.