Windows Search 4.0 released

Having released a public beta of Windows Search 4.0 back at the end of March, a final version has now been released today (thanks Brandon!). As we’ve talked about previously, this update for Windows (XP, Vista, Server and WHS) upgrades the search technologies built in to the operating system. Specifically the new features include:

  • Support for indexing encrypted documents of local file systems (e.g EFS)
  • Reduced affect on Microsoft Exchange when you index e-mail in online mode, and there is no local cache (.ost) 
  • Support for indexing online delegate mailboxes
  • Support for client-to-client remote query to shared indexed locations  (ie you can search other PCs running Windows Search 4.0)
  • Improved indexing performance
  • Faster previewer updates for Windows XP
  • Per-user Group Policy settings
  • Windows software updates for Watson errors
  • Support for the following new enterprise Group Policy objects:

As we mentioned at the launch of the beta, while this is an update aimed at the enterprise market, there are still some significant benefits here for the home user. Notably much faster indexing with reduced resource usage, along with shorter loading times for search results.

The support document giving all the download links is available here.

Brandon has also made a nifty Windows Vista sidebar gadget too, allowing users to track the status of the indexer and pause if required. Useful if you’re on an older machine or like to disabling indexing frequently. Check it out.