Microsoft details search changes coming in Vista Service Pack 1

Microsoft details search changes coming in Vista Service Pack 1

Summary: Microsoft published to its Web site over the past few days documentation that details changes the company is making to its built-in Vista search functionality that will be introduced with Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1.

TOPICS: Windows, Microsoft

Microsoft published to its Web site over the past few days documentation that details changes the company is making to its built-in Vista search functionality that will be introduced with Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1.

Developers will be exposed to these changes for the first time when Microsoft rolls out its Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 beta -- which is expected any day now. At the end of August, Microsoft provided Department of Justice (DOJ) officials with a build of SP1 that included these changes so technical committee members overseeing Microsoft's compliance with provisions from its federal antitrust case could evaluate whether Microsoft was delivering the changes to which it committed earlier this year.

At the end of August, Microsoft officials said to expect the Windows team to deliver to between 10,000 and 15,000 testers a beta of SP1 in two weeks' time.

To prepare for the commencement of the SP1 beta, Microsoft is providing third-party developers with information on how it is changing destkop search in Vista, as well as on how third-party search applications will be able to integrate into Windows Vista.

Microsoft agreed to make these search-related changes to Vista following a complaint by rival Google to the Department of Justice. Google said Microsoft should not be allowed to integrate its own desktop search technology into Vista in a way that put other search vendors at a disadvantage.

On September 12, Microsoft published to its site a new Knowledge Base (KB) article detailing changes it is making to the desktop search component of Vista. A Microsoft Developer Network piece with search-protocol documentation for independent software vendors is due to go live later today. A complementary paper describing how third-party developers can avoid disruptions with applications that run as low-level programs as these search changes are introduced, has been available for download from Microsoft's Downloads site since September 10.

"The changes we made are designed to enable a customer who chooses a  third party search solution (which has been designed to take advantage of these changes) to have easy and direct access to that solution through the Windows user-interface," said a Microsoft corporate spokesman in a statement provided via email.  "That means that in addition to the numerous ways a user could access a third party search solution in Windows Vista, they can now get to their preferred search results from additional entry points in the Start Menu and Explorer Windows in Windows Vista with SP1.  ISV’s simply need to register their search application using the newly provided protocol in Windows Vista SP1 to enable these options for their customers. "

How "simple" this registration and new protocol system actually is remains to be seen. I'm sure we'll hear from Google and others whether these Vista changes and accompanying documentation, are adequate in their view.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Can they make it more like Desktop Search 3.x?

    The Vista Search just doesn't impress me at all. Selecting a hit closes the search window and if you didn't choose correctly based on subject (which is often redundant), you get to do the search all over again.

    I've been using Desktop Search with XP for quite some time. The integration with Outlook and the preview for returned search items is very useful.
    Uber Dweeb
    • Vista works the same way

      And has a preview pane. Outlook 2007 works the same on either. I think the only difference there is that with Outlook 2003 and the Live Toolbar you could get cool integration on XP, that's missing in Vista.

      It sounds like you're comparing the Start menu search in Vista to the full WDS results view in XP. The Start Menu works the same as the "deskbar" on XP. The full results view (if you press Enter after typing a query, or click the "See All Results" button, or click Start->Search) works much like the WDS results view. There are some differences, and the WDS view arguably has some advantages (hit highlighting in the list view, easier to toggle the preview pane). But Vista has its advantages as well (grouping, filtering via the column headers, more views, etc).
  • RE: Microsoft details search changes coming in Vista Service Pack 1

    Interesting, but I dont understand at all, why they should delete an Search item in Start menu and make a lot of other foolish, senseless things.
    This industry is absolutely crazy with envious companies, such as Apple with their crapy mac os x, Real with their "no media player, yes crappy n edition" and Adobe with their "hey, you cant use our open, open, open very very open pdf in your office, you cant use your crappy, crappy, crappy format in your office; you cant use anything in your office; and please, do not do software at all - because you are monopolist and we are poor, poor, poor Adobe"... nastily
    • What???

      What did all that mean exactly?
  • is there a way to start in advanced search?

    i don't like basic search. if i need to search, i need to do an advanced search but getting to that is a pain. is there a way to start search in advanced mode?
  • Mircosoft Search

    Perhaps Microsoft can help us to search for another operating system. Vista is bloated, slow at networking, requires to much memory, and is unreasonable in price. It also has a bad habit of hogging cpu resources. Stick with Xp or move to linux.
    • Vista is a Microsoft test

      To see how much their customers will tolerate. They know, anybody who will put up with the likes of Vista leaves the gate wide open, and they can do anything they want in the future, with no fear of losing thier customers (users, as Microsoft calls them).

      If you are not ALREADY searching for a different OS (after seeing Vista), Microsoft has nothing to fear from you.
      Ole Man
  • search changes coming in Vista Service Pack 1

    I certainly hope there is more to the change then the search feature for 3rd party's.

    Whats needed in my opinion is better stablization. Features for the user.
  • One essential thing NOT included in SP1

    Starting with Windows Desktop Search 3.0 (which I understand is what Vista Search is using), Microsoft has dropped its ability to search OCRed text in TIF files. And I can't see it in SP1 either. Now that was a hard blow to hordes of users who have used TIF as a very efficient archiving format for their documents. And, strangely enough, MS Office is coming with a TIF format iFilter (MODI) since several versions back, 2007 version included. Why is this happening and why it is not addressed?
  • Search engine in Vista?


    Vista HAS no working SEARCH ENGINE.

    If you need to find a file? You gotta boot up under XP and use the XP search.

    Another improvement... And I do not see how this new thing here is going to help much,

    The best way for Microsoft to deal with this is to immediately cease development and sales of Vista,

    And work on XP x64 bit edition like they ought to have been doing for the last year.
    • Another OSX Freak?

      I disagree. The search engine in Vista works very differently from the search feature in XP; it's a lot more integrated, and is linked with various elements of the typical web search; just locally, instead.
  • RE: Microsoft details search changes coming in Vista Service Pack 1

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