Windows Live Search for the desktop: A Single Point of Entry

More details are emerging on the latest Windows Live offering, the unfortunately named Windows Live Search (for the desktop). As this search product will be built around Windows Vista and Office Sharepoint Server 2007, products not yet released to market, there's probably plenty of time to come up with a better name (we hope). In a white paper available on Microsoft.com downloads, the new search product is described as an enterprise level solution that provides a single user interface, binding together separate systems including new search capabilities built into Vista, Windows Desktop Search 3.0 utilized by Office 2007, the Business Data Catalog and Knowledge Network in Office SharePoint Server 2007, and Internet search from Windows Live Search (the other one), including image search, news, rss, email, local, and shopping searches.

This one view of all of these previously disconnected search products, the "single point of entry", will in future versions be further extensible through an API and SDK to be able to present search results from other search solutions, although the initial release will focus on providing the best possible user experience. In the new product, information from across the enterprise will be available in one application, and information workers will be able to further manipulate the data they find, browsing quickly through full text previews of the search results, drag and drop results onto the desktop, get help correcting and clarifying complex searches, and save searches for later reference or to send or share.

While there's much more to learn about this new product, the white paper presents a compelling scenario for managing up to enterprise-scale data, perhaps providing the best reason yet for companies to think seriously about the benefits of moving to Vista, Office 2007, Sharepoint Server 2007, and Windows Live. In the paper's conclusion, it says that "Every business has to win customers, innovate, find new efficiencies and identify and adapt to change", and with Windows Live Search (for the desktop), Microsoft seems to be doing just that. Now if it could just name it's way out of a paper bag!