Today at the annual IT Forum, Microsoft launched Windows Desktop Search enabled for enterprise deployment, which allows corporate information workers to quickly find and retrieve precisely what they’re looking for on their personal computers, in e-mail and on network file shares from a single starting point. Launching Windows Desktop Search for enterprise deployment is another step toward achieving Microsoft’s vision for enabling a complete enterprise search experience with search across the PC and e-mail through Windows Desktop Search, across the enterprise intranet environment with Microsoft® SharePoint Portal Server 2003, and across the Web with MSN Search.
The new offering of Windows Desktop Search is easy for IT managers to deploy, customize and manage across all Microsoft Windows XP-based or Windows 2000-based PCs in a corporate environment. This supports a powerful and intuitive search experience that can be integrated with familiar environments such as Microsoft Office, SharePoint Portal Server and other third-party enterprise products.
“These new enterprise-class enhancements to the desktop search capabilities we introduced last spring will empower IT professionals to deliver higher productivity, lower IT management costs and greater ease of use throughout their organizations,” said Christopher Payne, corporate vice president of MSN Search at Microsoft. “Gaining rapid access to more relevant, up-to-date and action-oriented search results will enable information workers to make better, faster decisions.”
As a starting point to launch search across the range of data silos in an enterprise environment, the new Windows Desktop Search advances Microsoft’s vision for an enterprise search solution. In the future, Windows Live™ offerings will combine the power of software with Internet services in ways that make people’s digital experiences more relevant and dynamic. Microsoft plans to continue expanding the capabilities of Windows Desktop Search and augment them with Windows Live services to search across new data sources and provide the future opportunity to build services on top of the desktop platform.
The new enterprise version of Windows Desktop Search takes the consumer version of the product offering — which provides fast search capabilities to locate information across e-mail, the desktop or shared network drives — and provides a simple way to deploy and manage this product across the enterprise environment.
“As securities regulators, NASD employees are required to access and manage a huge number of documents during the course of their workday and were easily spending an hour or more searching in multiple locations,” said Bill Cunnane, Director of Systems Engineering at NASD, an early beta tester of Windows Desktop Search for enterprise deployment. “Our typical end user was comfortable using Windows Desktop Search within about 15 minutes. It has quickly become an integral work tool for them.”
Enterprise customers have the option to deploy the MSN Search Toolbar, which provides a new beta feature that gives people the ability to see integrated Windows Desktop Search results within Microsoft Office Outlook®. IT managers can customize Windows Desktop Search and the MSN Search Toolbar to allow users to easily switch the scope of their search experience from their desktop to the Web or to a corporate intranet, all from one ubiquitous search box.
Windows Desktop Search and the MSN Search Toolbar followed the stringent Microsoft Windows security review procedures and respect the current Windows security and privacy model. These products have been designed to respect the privacy of multiple users on a single PC by utilizing the Windows authentication and user account management infrastructure.
IT professionals can easily deploy, customize and manage these search capabilities via Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 or third-party deployment tools. IT professionals can also extend Windows Desktop Search to index additional information sources and file types using IFilters and protocol handlers that are extensively documented on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN®) Web site. Enterprises can tap into additional product assistance through Microsoft Product Support Services.
Currently supported in 15 languages, with others available soon, Windows Desktop Search for the enterprise can be downloaded for free with a Windows License over here.