Hooray! Microsoft has just released beta 2 of the new Windows Desktop Search 3.0. This is the new version used by 2007 Microsoft Office system (with a small "s") Outlook and OneNote applications. As you might recall, I recently bemoaned the horrific performance, memory leaks, and complete lack of a user interface in the initial beta release which was required to enable Instant Search in those applications and preserve one's sanity by turning off the incessant requests from those apps that you install the utility.
Happily, the beta 2 release seems to be much better behaved and was able to use the existing index created by the previous version. Memory usage is about half of what the previous version was consuming. The deskbar and search window interface are back and everything works pretty much as in previous versions which is to say pretty well. My only complaint (there has to be something to complain about, right?) is the lack of the previous version's control to turn off indexing when running on battery power.
From the Knowledgebase article and download page:
The search engine in WDS 3.0 is a Microsoft Windows service that is also used by programs such as Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and Microsoft Office OneNote 2007. You can use this search engine to index a program's content and to obtain instant results when you search within a particular program. WDS 3.0 supports the following installations:
You cannot install WDS 3.0 on a Microsoft Windows Vista-based computer, because WDS functionality is already built into Windows Vista.
• Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and later versions • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and later versions
This Beta 2 release is an update to the Beta Engine Preview release of WDS 3.0. The most noticeable improvements in the Beta 2 release include a full desktop search user interface, 64-bit support, and faster search results. The WDS 3.0 installation process will automatically upgrade WDS 2.5 and later versions of WDS. Before you install WDS 3.0, use the Add or Remove Programs tool to uninstall versions of WDS that are earlier than version 2.5. (my emphasis)
Hat tip to Amit Agarwal at Digital Inspiration for the heads up.