Microsoft Delivers Powerful Upgrade to Desktop Search Capability for Windows Customers

REDMOND, Wash. — May 16, 2005 — The MSN® network of Internet services today launched the new MSN Search Toolbar with Windows® Desktop Search, a suite of tools that helps people rapidly search across the Web or their PC and provides easy access to world-leading MSN services. The final version of the MSN Search Toolbar includes free enhancements for Windows® 2000 and Windows XP customers, providing a dramatically upgraded desktop search experience. These new innovations for Windows customers will make it easier than ever to find and retrieve documents, e-mail, images, video and more on their Windows-based personal computers.

“By offering the most integrated desktop search capabilities for Windows, now people can search their PC as fast as they can search the Web,” said Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president for the MSN Information Services & Merchant Platform division at Microsoft. “The new MSN Search Toolbar makes it easy for customers to find precisely what they’re looking for, no matter where it resides.”

The MSN Search Toolbar, available for free download today at, enables people to conveniently search their desktops from within familiar applications they use every day — including Microsoft Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office Outlook® — combining the one-step ease of a Web search with the richness and power of the PC environment.

Innovations in Windows Desktop Search Make Searching the PC Faster and Easier

By dramatically upgrading desktop search capabilities in the Windows operating system, Microsoft is providing Windows customers with powerful new searching enhancements that allow them to quickly search through mountains of digital data and find precisely what they’re looking for. Windows Desktop Search includes the following features:

  • Fast, precise retrieval of desktop files. Using one tool, people can search more than 200 file types on their PC including Outlook and Outlook Express e-mail files; Outlook Contacts or Calendar files; multimedia files; Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Office Excel 2003 and Microsoft Office PowerPoint® 2003 files; MP3, GIF and JPEG files; Adobe or .PDF files; and more. Searching is also efficient with search-as-you-type functionality. People can even search e-mail attachments.

  • One-step searches and familiar interfaces. People can save valuable time and avoid hassle by initiating searches from Internet Explorer, Outlook or the Windows desktop — wherever they are working on their PC. Integration with Outlook and Office makes searching a familiar, convenient experience.

  • Useful, actionable results. People can accomplish more with useful and informative search results due to powerful filtering and sorting capabilities. A preview pane provides helpful summaries for each search result, allowing people to preview the contents of their PC directly from the desktop search view and drag and drop files into other applications, which lets them quickly find and act on the items they need. People can open files in their associated application directly from desktop search results, as well as quickly initiate actions such as managing, sharing, deleting or playing files.

  • Privacy protection. People can enjoy a better-protected and more-private desktop searching experience. The MSN Search Toolbar is built on the current Windows security and privacy model, which is designed to respect the privacy of multiple users on a single PC by utilizing the Windows authentication and user account management infrastructure.

  • Customization. People have the ability to select what information gets indexed and the types of files that are searched, including Outlook folders. Easy setup tools such as a First Run Wizard make it simple to customize Windows Desktop Search. People also can take advantage of the plug-in architecture and download third-party ifilters from to extend the variety of file types that can be indexed and searched.

Smarter Browsing With MSN Search Toolbar

The MSN Search Toolbar eliminates the hassles of browsing the Web and provides people with the tools to find what they need fast. The MSN Search Toolbar offers time-saving tools including Pop-up Blocker, which helps prevent pop-up windows from appearing; Form Fill, which enables people to fill out online forms with one click; and a highlighting feature that color-codes search keywords on a results page and helps people locate the information they want via thumbnail windows. To further improve people’s browsing and searching experience, in the coming months MSN will introduce an integrated Tabbed Browsing feature, giving one-click access to people’s favorite sites in the same window, streamlining everyday activities and enabling people to save commonly visited sites into automatic “routines” that can be opened simultaneously.

Easy Access to MSN Services

The MSN Search Toolbar also gives people one-click access to and rich interaction with MSN services, including MSN Messenger, the No. 1 most-used free instant messaging service in the world; MSN Hotmail®, the world’s largest Web-based e-mail service; new MSN Search; and MSN Spaces, enabling people to conveniently initiate common communication tasks right from the toolbar.

The MSN Search Toolbar is available now in English in the United States. Global availability is planned for later this year.

Microsoft to Offer Corporate Desktop Search Solution

In response to feedback from corporate customers looking for desktop searching capabilities designed for their needs, Microsoft is developing a desktop search offering, built on Windows Desktop Search, for the corporate environment. Scheduled to be available in beta form by the end of the calendar year, the offering will enable corporations to empower employees with fast, powerful searching capabilities across their PC, with plentiful customization options.

About MSN

MSN attracts more than 400 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 40 markets and 20 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at MSN worldwide sites are located at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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