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Microsoft's Upcoming Desktop Search Tool

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the we-can-do-it-too dept.

Microsoft 293

Back in July, Microsoft purchased a company called Lookout who made a tool that allowed users of Outlook 2000+ to search through their email at greater speed and accuracy to the standard Outlook search tool. Since Microsoft acquired Lookout, the MSN team have been steadily working on Desktop Search and web search technologies. Google announced their own Desktop Search technology recently; the tool is fast but is limited in capabilities.The MSN Toolbar Suite integrates directly throughout the OS and varies according to where you're searching from. For example, if you're searching from within Windows Explorer you will search on your PC, in IE on the web and in Outlook the toolbar searches within Outlook. The bottom line : like the new online search, Microsoft have made a very good effort to get back in the game.

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Spotlight anyone? (4, Informative)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813340)

Sounds like Apple's Spotlight [apple.com] technology. (Developer article here [apple.com] ) Funny, at the Macworld when it was announced, one of Apple's banners at the expo [blogintosh.com] read "Redmond, start your photocopiers."

Re:Spotlight anyone? (0, Redundant)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813353)

Everything Microsoft works on now a days is another "sounds like..." it seems. Usually it's from Apple, so this is no surprise.

I can't think of the last "cool" thing they came up with. Can anyone think of something useful they developed first in the past five years?

Re:Spotlight anyone? (4, Funny)

lintux (125434) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813380)

> Can anyone think of something useful they developed first in the past five years?

Uhm... Clippy? :-)

Re:Spotlight anyone? (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813401)

I knew someone was going to bring that up. Once I clicked "submit," I realized this was begging for bad jokes.

Re:Spotlight anyone? (2, Insightful)

lintux (125434) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813432)

I'm just proving your point that they didn't invent anything really useful. Besides Clippy, they also gave us Comic Sans MS, the terrible font that still shows up everywhere because some people think it's cool. :-(

Re:Spotlight anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813455)

The Ban Comic Sans website. [bancomicsans.com]

Re:Spotlight anyone? (0, Troll)

mithras the prophet (579978) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813509)

there really is a domain name for every constituency, isn't there? that's fantastic.

Re:Spotlight anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813406)

Clippy was Office 97. You lose it.

Re:Spotlight anyone? (2)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813447)

Everything Microsoft makes is at least two years late, so that probably came out in 1999.

Re:Spotlight anyone? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813470)

How about Rover, the annoying dog in the XP search tool? (Arguable since it originally appeared in MS Bob).

Re:Spotlight anyone? (1)

yasth (203461) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813400)

Except of course this is launching in December. So they are copying the future, quite impressive of them. Truthfully Lookout software already did most of this before, (and was fast and gave amazing results). So it is more like they bought inovation.

Re:Spotlight anyone? (2, Interesting)

eyeye (653962) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813607)

Same old microsoft they are just jumping on the bandwagon that blinkx and others have already explored.

The can make a success of a copied idea though, in the same way britney can get away with doing terrible cover versions, brand recognition.

p.s blinkx seems shit, it cant search the contents of files and has a bizarre user interface. I looked for a search prog because MS's search function ignores many of my files.

Re:Spotlight anyone? (1)

HeliumHigh (773838) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813367)

That's rather funny. If anyone should know Microsoft, its Apple. Microsoft doesn't need to "start" their photocopiers.... they have been running for years!

Re:Spotlight anyone? (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813460)

Microsoft doesn't need to "start" their photocopiers.... they have been running for years!

I'm kind of surprised that Microsoft hasn't bought [eretailnews.com] Xerox yet.

The Bottom Line (1, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813382)

Like the new online search, Microsoft have made a very good effort to get back in the game.

By buying a company. How like them.

Re:The Bottom Line (4, Informative)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813573)

By buying a company. How like them.
Um most big corporations expand through acquisition. Apple did it too, see itunes, logic audio, shake.

Re:Spotlight anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813515)

That was the same show where Apple demoed a copy of Active Desktop, right?

The "start your photocopiers" thing is kinda funny ... until you realize that the average Mac Zealot actualy believes that Apple invents everything first, and Apple is pandering to their most ignorant customers.

Anyway, text searching your email is hardly a revolutionary idea.

Re:Spotlight anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813606)

Just how many people were even looking forward to Active Desktop when Windows 98 was coming out? Most of the people who have it enabled don't even know about it and it causes some rather retarded things to happen...

You ever log on to a Windows machine and see one background only to see it get replaced by another background? That happens due to there being one regular desktop background as well as an Active Desktop background on top. This happens whenever the user selects a BMP background, then eventually changes to one only supported in Active Desktop (almost always a JPEG). As a result, you get two backgrounds because Windows forgets to remove the standard background when the Active Desktop one is applied.

Microsoft could have done better by rewriting the ancient Windows background code to support more than bloated, uncompressed BMP files, but they chose instead to slap a hyped-up, unstable element (Click here to recover your Active Desktop!) on top of dated code.

Integrates? (5, Interesting)

DamienNightbane (768702) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813348)

So what they're saying, is that when it comes installed in with Longhorn, we can't uninstall it?

Hmm... (2, Insightful)

Primotech (731340) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813349)

...I think I'm beginning to figure out Microsoft's plans to dethrone Google.

Re:Hmm... (1)

DamienNightbane (768702) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813546)

Copy everything Google does, hardcode it into Windows, and then use their monopoly to pull ahead?

Re:Hmm... (1)

Orgazmus (761208) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813600)

Like its a first for them?

hmm (1, Flamebait)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813350)

if it doesnt include spyware, they are one step ahead of Google in that department

but online - they can't catch up, google have secured themselves the #1 position in the last few years - unless it was a groundbreaking type of search technology, another generic search engine boasting "more relevant results" wont bring the masses

Re:hmm (5, Insightful)

Nuskrad (740518) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813396)

if it doesnt include spyware, they are one step ahead of Google in that department

What google includes is hardly spyware, in the google toolbar you have an option not to install it. Microsoft software sends useage statistics and such back, and some software usage is reported without warning or permission, to a certification system.

Google is quite open and honest with what it includes in it's software, less so than Microsoft can be.

Re:hmm (1, Insightful)

lintux (125434) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813457)

Just wait until Microsoft integrates MSN search support in IE. When the user tries to open a non-existent site, type a non-URL in the address bar or do something else stupid, automatically convert it to some nifty MSN search query. Ignorant people who don't know what a search engine or Google is will love it.

Just it's pretty hard to explain people who don't know what a web browser is why they should use Mozilla FireFox or any other sane browser.

Re:hmm (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813465)

Yes, and just what percentage of Microsoft's user base consists of ignorant people?

Re:hmm (1)

andreyw (798182) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813497)

IE /already/ does that. FYI. I just find it plain annoying. I just think of it as a bandwith-unfriendly 404 page, nothing more. Go Google.

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813557)

Just wait until Microsoft integrates MSN search support in IE.

It's getting there. They sure had no inhibitions about putting the MSN butterfly as well as a fixed list of places to "shop for music", with no way to remove them, in WMP 10.

Re:hmm (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813493)

From the artice heading:
Google announced their own Desktop Search technology recently; the tool is fast but is limited in capabilities.
What capabilities is it limited in? It does a great job searching both my home and work machines (in fact, the "fuck" test found some documents on my work machine that I didn't know were there, and I promptly removed them both from my machine and from the locations it will search).

When I need to find an email that I sent or received, I use the Google Desktop Search Tool. It's way faster than Outlook, and can even open the found email up using Outlook! That's fantastic. The only thing I wish it could do (aha! One of the limitations) is open the folder that that email is in (or at least, tell me which folder it is). I can forward the email without knowing that, but I can't include a copy of the email in another email (as an attachment, that is) without knowing the folder it's in so I can drag-and-drop it.

From the OP:

if it doesnt include spyware, they are one step ahead of Google in that department
What spyware do you think Google includes? I haven't found any, and I use both Ad-Aware and Spybot Search and Destroy. It does have issues with Netlimiter and Xfire, but I don't really need those so I uninstalled them. I can limit upload speeds in Azureus using Azureus itself now (2.2.0.0); it's nice to be able to see the graph in Netlimiter but Google's functionality makes me much more productive than looking at pretty graphs so I made my decision. And Xfire was installed with America's Army, and a) I haven't even used it (Xfire); and b) I probably won't use AA much.

Now, granted that Google is in a unique position of being able to amass and conglomerate every company's IP now, and perhaps Google HQ has their own "search users" tool which will find my "fuck" document (and yours as well), making Google likely to be bought by the NSA for inclusion in Echelon. I'm not sure how firmly my tongue is in my cheek on that one, actually...

Re:hmm (1)

anaradad (199058) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813552)

What capabilities is [Google Desktop Search] limited in? It won't search network drives. It won't search Outlook.pst files on network drives. Thus, it's useless for me. I use Outlook on Windows at work because I have no choice. Everything is on the LAN, nothing is on the C drive. And, at home, where it would make sense to use this technology, I'm running Fedora Core 3.

When will they learn? (5, Insightful)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813354)

The MSN Toolbar Suite integrates directly throughout the OS...

Didn't Internet Explorer teach them that integrating something that connects to the web, like this, into the OS is bad? I'm just waiting for a security hole to pop up and leave even more reason to bash Windows security.

Well, atleast this is optional, unlike IE.

They know what they are doing... (1)

Krankheit (830769) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813410)

Most of their user base is unfortunately computer illiterate. These users don't really know what a program is. They think of everything has buttons and windows. They buy a computer with Windows. They use Internet Explorer because it comes with it. So then 85% of their costomers are using MSIE. Then Microsoft make money selling Frontpage and maybe even ISS.

Re:They know what they are doing... (1, Funny)

FyRE666 (263011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813555)

Then Microsoft make money selling Frontpage and maybe even ISS.

I wasn't aware that MS actually owned the International Space Station! Maybe the World really wasn't enough for Bill...

They have learned! being evil makes money (4, Insightful)

Cid Highwind (9258) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813436)

I think they learned a lot from bundling internet explorer. They learned that if they tie some specialty app into the OS, bundle it with every Microsoft product, and require people to use it to get MS proprietary content, they can go from a niche player to 95% market share in a couple of years. That tactic worked for IE, worked for Outlook Express, worked for Windows Media Player, it's starting to work for MSN messenger, and it'll probably work for their new search tool, too.

Re:When will they learn? (2, Insightful)

banuk (148382) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813452)

It probably won't be optional in Longhorn, which of course will delay that even further my bet is July 2010

Re:When will they learn? (4, Insightful)

mcc (14761) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813471)

Didn't Internet Explorer teach them that integrating something that connects to the web, like this, into the OS is bad?

Well, their single major competitor of the time is dead, many people are unaware web browsers other than Internet Explorer exist, and there were no negative side-effects of any sort for Microsoft other than an utterly insignificant "settlement" fee with the Bush administration. It seems to me IE would have taught Microsoft that integrating something that connects to the web into the OS is.. well.. good.

I'm just waiting for a security hole to pop up and leave even more reason to bash Windows security.

Is this what you were referring to as far as why this would be "bad"? Because I don't see this as a bad thing for Microsoft. The security disaster that has been Microsoft's products in the last few years has yet to produce any significant negative repercussions I can see for Microsoft. Further security disasters in Microsoft products likely will turn out just the same; bad for Microsoft's customers, neither good nor bad for Microsoft.

Well, atleast this is optional, unlike IE.

How long will that last, I wonder?

GOOD EFFORT?! (-1, Troll)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813356)

What?! Oh, you mean taking something else that's already been done, copying it, and marketing the fuck out of it? Yeah, way to be, Microsoft!

So what? (3, Insightful)

chrisgeleven (514645) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813357)

At least Google has announced that it is going to make the effort to get its desktop search to support Firefox, Thunderbird, and maybe other third-party products.

I would be very surprised if Microsoft makes this work with anything other then their products.

Re:So what? (5, Funny)

MrDomino (799876) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813444)

I would be very surprised if Microsoft makes this work with their products.

Microsoft's tactics (1)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813541)

I would be very surprised if Microsoft makes this work with anything other then their products.

This is just a defensive move by Microsoft. They are responding to initiatives from non-Microsoft groups because they don't like the non-Microsoft groups to have relationships with customers that don't require Microsoft. So they work this defensive Me Too strategy short term.

Long term, Microsoft needs to get the customers to buy LongHorn and OfficeHorn and Otherhorn products.

The LongHorn timeframe, 2 or 3 or 4 more years, is difficult for Microsoft. They don't have a particular reason for customers to care about Horns or not Horns.

All we really know at this point is that computer users care about security, privacy, trust, reputation, community, support, standardization and TCO.

Security? (0)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813361)

Would this also be subject to security concerns like Google's Desktop search, or would it work just like standard Windows Search? Let's hope it's the latter.

Re:Security? (1)

como-genic (732225) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813587)

What you mean that googles desktop search found documents that had passwords, credit card numbers, etc, etc. Google is just exposing the incompetence of the application builder for not protecting sensitive information.

Integrated with the OS? Crackers, go to it! (5, Funny)

HotButteredHampster (614950) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813368)

I can't wait for the next generation of viruses which will spawn from this. Is this a recipe for disaster or what:

  1. Microserfs coding quickly to catch up and add a new feature to the OS
  2. Said code is meant to find everything on your computer
  3. Said code is hooked into the OS like IE.

Just as well. I was tired of hearing about new IE exploits every day. This should break up the monotony.

HBH

Re:Integrated with the OS? Crackers, go to it! (3, Insightful)

caseydk (203763) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813421)


Good call.

I can't wait until some compromise comes along and then uses this search tool to *make sure* it finds the right files to send to 3rd parties...

Re:Integrated with the OS? Crackers, go to it! (1)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813453)

But this will be their method to overwhelm Google without getting into some antitrust problem. They will so intermingle the code with the rest of the OS. They can truthfully tell the court, "it is built into the operating system and can not be removed." And when has security been the primary consideration of M$. Their primary goal is to assimilate. They will buy you or make you obsolete.

Re:Integrated with the OS? Crackers, go to it! (1)

linguae (763922) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813498)

Exactly. If this search feature is as insecure as IE and Outlook, I can easily forsee crackers taking advantage of this. Oh boy, I can see the usages of this now. Just a script away from stealing the boss's documents and spreadsheets. Wonder who's getting a raise this month? Or, I can grab some e-mail messages from Outlook. This combination of IE + Outlook + new search tool = a cracker's wet dream.

Come on Microsoft, not only is it not enough to get malware and worms through your browser and e-mail, but now a cracker can possibly search through a computer? Stop trying to copy Apple/Google and get to work on securing your OS.

Re:Integrated with the OS? Crackers, go to it! (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813502)

Well, there's already search functionality present in Windows 2k and XP - that's not been exploited (afaik). Also, what's to prevent a virus writer from just doing a brute-force scan of the hard drive anyway?

Re:Integrated with the OS? Crackers, go to it! (1)

Vicsun (812730) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813605)

How will MS' desktop search be different than the current search which is integrated with the OS? Just curious.

This begs the question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813373)

Has CmdrTaco joined Microsoft's marketing team?

Joy of plain ASCII... (1, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813376)

$ grep -R $TARGET /

Re:Joy of plain ASCII... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813560)

No, No, No.

Grep re-searches with every search. I've done greps that took 3 or more hours to run (and beat the hell out of the fileserver).

"Desktop Search" means that you first pre-index the filesystem, so that when you search, the result comes quickly, just like google.

Desktop searching is an area in which Linux is behind, and it has the potential to be a big area. Even if Linux is behind, the Windows world isn't that far along; even that google desktop search thing makes your computer slow, and has other drawbacks.

Linux should be able to pass Windows on this, because people leave Linux computers on at night, allowing them to index when no one is using it, and it is easier to make a kernel module that intercepts filesystem calls in order to do smart re-indexing of just the stuff that changed.

This is a joke, right? (4, Insightful)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813377)

I mean, lots of people jokingly refer to "Outlook" as "LookOut" (i.e. for viruses/etc.)? There is actually a company/product called "Lookout" for Outlook?

Also-- to the people who are pointing out (and/or will point out) that this sounds like Apple's "Spotlight" tech... I personally loathe Microsoft, but I DO recall them speaking about making the entire filesystem one big relational database (and I recall the mixed reactions among the /. crowd)... Why would they make the filesystem a database if it weren't to allow searching the whole system in some organized manner? And MS was talking about this stuff LONG before I ever heard of Spotlight... Maybe for once (well, excepting pre-emptive multitasking or true multi-user systems, which Apple was talking about for far too long until Jobs kicked their butts and spurred the creation of OS X at long last) MS got to something before Apple?

Of course, this being Microsoft, they probably took the idea from someone else first ;)

Re:This is a joke, right? (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813426)

You might of heard WinFS before Apple made Spotlight but Apple don't discuss anything until they need to, who is to say they had it first. In any case, it matters not when spotlight is based on a different technology, which doesn't make the entire filesystem one big database. It uses metadata and tags the files accordingly...

Re:This is a joke, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813523)

"MIGHT'VE." It's "MIGHT'VE," since "MIGHT OF" makes no SENSE, now does it?

Re:This is a joke, right? (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813542)

So sayeth the AC...

Re:This is a joke, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813536)

WinFS doesnt make the filesystem a database, it adds a metadata database engine on top of NTFS (based on SQL Servers engine), underneath it all it's still just NTFS.

Re:This is a joke, right? (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813438)

Also to add, Apple will have it out of the door into the market first as well...

Re:This is a joke, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813467)

Ofcourse they also had the idea for this database filesystem for over a decade now, and every time they delay it. I think it was originally meant to be with 95. It's basically a project that won't die. Current status is that it isn't even going to make longhorn to, can't really say it's a big surprise. Perhaps there is some fudamental reason other people wern't so jumpy to implement it?

Quickshot

Re:This is a joke, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813491)

Maybe they're waiting for a patent to expire.

old saying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813378)

yeah... but does it run on Linux?!

Yahoo too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813383)

According to this [com.com] Yahoo is working on something too.

New slogan (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813387)

You have a new Outlook with Lookout...

Re:New slogan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813408)

Or you can Lookout with a new Outlook...

Re:New slogan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813503)

You can Lookout for a big stinky penis creeping up towards your face tonight.

Re:New slogan (1)

Nuskrad (740518) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813496)

Lookout! It's new outlook!

Portal wars again? (4, Insightful)

Deal-a-Neil (166508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813391)

Remember back in the dotcom hayday, everyone and their brother was rushing out to make a new portal? You know, the all-in-one start page for the browser -- stock quotes, weather, sports scores, yadda-yadda. I think it was an attempt to clone the (then) success of AOL. Search engine firms became media companies. Now, these media companies are trying to get back into the search engine fray.

Why? Because the ad dollars that were once banner impressions from billions of page impressions, are now far cheaper than they were back then (revenues are down from them), and now pay-per-click revenues are super-duper high. Remember, this isn't about making software for the greater good of man, these companies are in it to win it.

So anyway, here we are again. Searching your desktop. Web based mail. Yesterday's AOL is today's Google. Personally, a lot of these tools are overhyped, in my opinion. I really hope that these companies have more forward looking people, instead of just sideways looking (i.e. at competition). Because when contextual text-based ads start losing their value, it'll just happen all over again, and we may be talking about the search engine wars the same way we look back at the portal wars.

What game? (5, Funny)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813393)

.

like the new online search, Microsoft have made a very good effort to get back in the game.

What game is that?

Follow The Innovator?

yep. Same game Google is in. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813567)

Google didn't invent desktop search (look at ON Location) any more than they invented internet search (Lycos, of course).

Re:What game? (1)

logic hack (800754) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813593)

I was thinking of Monopoly.

This is a good thing! (4, Insightful)

Hiigara (649950) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813405)

Sure they are still a monopoly but competition is competition. The only way Microsoft can really dethrone google is if they come out with a better internet search engine. If we get a improved system and outlook search, all the better. I really hope that this gives Linux the kick in the pants it needs for someone to come up with better system search solutions. Find is absolutely terrible in my humble opinion, especially it's tendency to freeze up when you stop a search. Lack of metadata search makes baby Linus cry. Bring me browser wars! Bring me os wars! Bring me search wars! These are the only kind of conflicts in which the consumer benefits, so we might as well encourage them!

*BSD is dying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813415)

It is now official. Netcraft confirms: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

Somebody is on the defensive... (2, Insightful)

bergeron76 (176351) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813424)

It sounds like MSFT are on the defensive, rather than the offensive.

Although now that I think about it, they never really innovated anyway - so I guess they were never truly on the offensive.

And as always MS innovates... (3, Insightful)

bogie (31020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813427)

...by buying other companies. Microsoft talks a lot about "their" innovations yet if you look at who they bought over the last 10 years its obvious that almost everything they put out is someone else's product.

btw before you think I'm just some MS hater I guess I should state I'm not against the practice nor Microsoft's products in general. If the end result is a good product then who cares how it was made. Just wanted to point out that its a bit ironic that people expect brand new innovative products from the ground up from OSS yet don't give a single thought to the fact that almost everything MS puts out wasn't developed in-house at first and they rely almost soley on outsiders for many of their innovations and ideas.

Re:And as always MS innovates... (1)

imroy (755) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813603)

...almost everything MS puts out wasn't developed in-house at first and they rely almost soley on outsiders for many of their innovations and ideas.

Hence the comparison to the Borg [wikipedia.org] from Star Trek and the topic icon here on Slashdot.

Is this why they dumped WinFS? (2, Interesting)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813428)

IIRC, MS had been chattering about a deep level search function for "the next OS" since Win 95, called WinFS. It was finally supposed to be in Longhorn, but it was ditched about a couple months ago (According to an article here on Slashdot). [slashdot.org]

Perhaps they dumped WinFS, previously known as 'NT Object Filing System', because this will do most of what it did with less of a hassle in programming and backward compatibility?

And - where is the role of metadata in all of this?

RS

Re:Is this why they dumped WinFS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813526)

And what's the point of metadata? It'll be one hell of a rough transition for file associations (if done the Mac way - assocating a file with the last program it was opened with - instead of filename extension) because of reverse compatibility.

Aside from that, all it really accomplishes is something most files already do. For instance: MP3s have ID3 tags and JPEGs have Exif data

nice to know (1)

mr. marbles (19251) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813429)

It's nice to know nobody can make a buck in the computing industry without microsoft's ear perking up and moving over to take a slice of the pie.

Re:nice to know (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813499)

In my not so humble opinion, you really have a good point here. A Great point. I'll explain what I mean.

In recent years the main argument of Micro$oft (note to slashzilla berzerkers: I'm not willing to let go of the dollar sign from that word) was Open Source kills innovation. Now if one takes a look at Micro$oft's recent actions and methods of "development" you can see a very clear outline: they wait for someone else out there in the industry to come out with a very good thing, then buy the idea, the implementation, the whole company, whatever, and voila, what you get is innovation in MS products.

Bad thing ? Generally could be regarded as "no", but if you just think what they do with their stuff (i.e. integrate into Windows and pay anybody else's claims off the planet) could just as well be considered bad.

That is why having a single large unlimited budget company with business policies like MS has a dark side too.

Predicting a Security Hole (5, Insightful)

chiphart (791140) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813431)

With the OS, Outlook, and searching integrated, I forsee entire personal mailboxes being accidentally searchable by the rest of the world. The best part will be that's it'll the default configuration.

Re:Predicting a Security Hole (1)

Oct (821259) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813578)

"The best part will be that's it'll the default configuration."
Honest to god dude, you need to go back to grammar school, that's the worst I've seen on here in a while. As a side note, I find Apple's computer searching tool to be better than anything available for PC, including Google Desktop search...however, PC is still my drug of choice (I'm an addict, what can I say).

I, for one... (5, Insightful)

Vicsun (812730) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813437)

cheer microsoft on their bold attempt, as frankly Google Desktop Search blows. Before I get modded -1, troll, let me say I am a big fan of google. I'm just unhappy with google's take on what a desktop search should be.
Let me count the ways in which GDS annoys me:

0. Lack of support for programs I use (Firefox support? Pretty please?)

1. When a a folder has the same name as my search term, google search will display *all* files within that folder. For example if I search for 'doom 3' it won't just list the files called 'doom 3' it will list *all* the files in the doom 3 folder. It would be much more useful if it would only display the folder once as a separate search result, and then only display files called 'doom 3'

2. Inability to only search for filenames *only* - sometimes, or actually most of the time, I want to find a specific file. I know I have created important.doc but when I search for 'important' I get a plethora of results featuring different documents / text files which have the word 'important' within them. Windows' search has done this nicely by giving me the ability to search for a 'all or a part of the filename' and for 'a word or a phrase within the file'. I also have the option to 'look in' which brings me to my next point

3. Inability to search within a folder - because sometimes it is extremely useful to look for *.mp3 in my very disorganized 'thereShouldBeNoMusicHere' folder. Or to look for anything at all in a drive different than C...

4. Wildcard searches - oftentimes I just can't remember how I've saved the file. Was my presentation called group4project.ppt or group4.ppt or G4.ppt? A simple search of *4*.ppt should find the file, where * is a wildcard. Currently I can't do that.

5. No automatic unindexing. I just moved 3000 files from my desktop to another folder. Now whenever I search for any of those files I get two results, one of them pointing to a non-existing location. There's no way in hell I'm removing 3000 files from the index manually, ten at a time.

The generic search that comes with Windows does a much better job, IMHO. I hope they improve on GDS in the future, because I'd like to googlize my computer some more.

Re:I, for one... (3, Informative)

Nuskrad (740518) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813512)

Does 'Beta' mean anything to you? If people want these features, and make them know, they'll be added.

Re:I, for one... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813566)

Does 'Beta' mean anything to you? If people want these features, and make them know, they'll be added.

I know what "Beta" means to Google at least: "an indefinite state for a product as an excuse for not fulfilling everyone's expectations". :-)

Re:I, for one... (1)

Vicsun (812730) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813581)

Does 'Beta' mean anything to you? If people want these features, and make them know, they'll be added.
I'm so tired of hearing this excuse.

Sure it does, but I'm commenting on it in its current state which is currently, in my opinion, barely usable. With so many obvious features missing GDS is closer to an 'alpha' than a 'beta' stage, which should mainly concentrate on bugfixes.

Re:I, for one... (2, Interesting)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813556)

You're not alone in being unimpressed by their software. With Google's tradition of implementing amazing new technologies (like the shocker 1 GB free mail now with POP3 support) and their search engine itself, GDS just gave a big "huh?" from me. It's barely even usable and as far as I can see, both X1 and Copernic is much better. What was the deal about only Microsoft formats? Why didn't they make GDS support the formats we wish to support via a plugin architecture?

And it's of course very strange and inconsistent it doesn't support searching within filenames when Google Web search searches within URL's. They should've looked a bit more at that one for ideas of pushing the limits in search technology, I can think of numerous operators the web search don't support but that GDS could. But right now GDS feels more like an alpha than anything else, and I sure hope we'll see a lot of improvements to it from Google or it'll be one of the most useless tools they've produced.

stop beating around the bushes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813448)

Just buy google and get over with it..

API for third-party search plugins? (2, Interesting)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813469)

I would be extremely surprised if Microsoft would support those, and just make thier desktop search support their own godforsaken applications.

I wonder if there is any off-line search engine like X1, Copernic, or that one, for Windows that support search plugins via some kind of API. So a developer can add e.g. mp3 ID3 tag search, DVD metadata search and other things like that. If MS is going where I think they're going, they'll just drown in the bunch of desktop search engines with nothing new to offer. I can't see why not even Google was thinking of this when they designed theirs. Right, we're supposed to wait for a single company to let me search for what I want efficiently? That feels so... err, stone age.

A feature like that would be great and certainly an idea for Mozilla.org as an upcoming open source project -- read another article here that they were looking into this area.

More power to them (1)

Denver_80203 (570689) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813472)

Whatever they do, I think Google will do better. The internet is a more level playing ground for competition and I think google could use that kind of threat to keep themselves on top. I've seen good days and veryu bad weeks for google searches... the only thing that will keep them as good as they sometimes are is some good old fashion foot racing

Re:More power to them (1)

Ummu (830131) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813554)

I wish Microsoft would come up with something REALLY innovative....

Lookout (4, Funny)

Spudley (171066) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813505)

"Lookout"...

Isn't that the name of their email client? ...

Ah... no - it's just what I call it.

Lookout vs. Google Desktop (2, Interesting)

aegilops (307943) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813521)

I've been running both for a while now. Some observations:

Google Desktop supports Unicode which is invaluable if you use non-ASCII languages, like my wife does. YMMV. However the Google Desktop search is not integrated into the Outlook shell (understandably) nor the Google Deskbar, which I think is an obvious oversight - and suggested as much to Google.

Lookout allows you to index mapped drive letters or network locations, which Google Desktop doesn't. This is great for me where I have documents on a laptop's local hard drive as well as on network shares. I can't quantify it, but I think it has slowed down my Outlook 2003 a little, particularly on start-up. Most hits are returned in less than a tenth of a second. My major gripe about Lookout is that when I move items from my inbox to my PST it stuffs up the index - I know it rebuilds the full index once a month, but more often than not I look for something that has been indexed as being in my Inbox, yet I have since moved it to this month's PST folder. Nonetheless, it gives me a clue what to look for in my PST. I predominantly use Lookout for Outlook at work, and can't really comment on how this compares to using Google Desktop search on a "busy" Outlook mailbox.

Both systems use the CPU power of your workstation to build the indexes when idle. I think this is poor. E.g. you disconnect from the network and go roaming. When you return to the office, you want to find all documents and mails containing 'squeamish ossifrage'. Why should you have to wait for your PC to do the indexing? And does your indexing process "touch" each file? If it does, it could seriously screw up any attempts to archive all old data - everything would look current as every file was being touched by all PCs' indexing programs.

Surely it's feasible to get a master indexing catalogue built from a number of indexing sources. What I would like to see is an indexer for Exchange that indexes each individual mailbox but returns user-specific queries. So when I dock back at the office, I can immediately search for new documents that have been delivered to the Exchange server while I've been disconnected, and indexed on my behalf. Of course, what hits I get returned are unique to me as only my mailbox index is visible to me - as your mailbox index is unique to you. Meanwhile, common areas, such as shared file servers / public folders / web content etc can have their index shared across both of us.

Nonetheless, do not underestimate the joy of being able to use either of these tools and have an instantaneous method for locating a buried document that you know is somewhere on your PC, yet cannot remember precisely where.

Aegilops

updatedb & locate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813529)

updatedb and locate is fine for me.

Whereas if you use M$ windows what do you have at the CLI?

I don't care what M$ comes out with, I defecated on my M$ Windows(oh use that (R) remember? gotta use that (R) when referring to Windows LOL) and buried it in the yard. Every so often I go out and urinate where I buried it in celebration. I love to laugh at Windows (R)etarded users because they need so many extra tools to keep their OS from being hax0red. Gotta love the silly pathetic fucks.

Promoting innovation (1)

Cutterman (789191) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813547)

From http://www.neowin.net/comments.php?id=22288&catego ry=main

"Microsoft didn't buy this company for its technology. Microsoft Research already has a very good tool called Stuff I've seen which searches Outlook mail and desktop files/ IE histroy etc.

See http://research.microsoft.com/copyright/ac...nal.p df&pub=ACM

It seems that Lookout already has some patents on desktop search technology.

Microsoft's work was independetly developed. They are just protecting their back from patent litigations."

Promoting innovation. Yeah, right...

i don't get it. (3, Insightful)

thepoch (698396) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813548)

i don't get it. what's up with search being the "holy grail" of computing? kindly explain this to me. is everyone really this disorganized that everyone has to search for their own files now?

if everyone really wants to be able to search their stuff, it might be better to do away with files for documents completely. why not just make a real database (not fs database like winfs or whatever other bullshit they were thinking), where all documents, presentations, spreadsheets, are inputted into a real sql database as xml? maybe allow each application to create their own "database" with their own "table" with their own specific fields. then allow all these to be searchable by whatever search engine can be integrated with whatever desktop interface you may have. let's do away with files completely if people just keep on losing them, and have to search for them.

actually from reading what i just typed, it sounds like how a palm works. each app has their own searchable resource files. i don't really know how that will work with the stuff people type though. and images are another issue. most of the time, i find organizing pictures the toughest. documents are easy to categorize, but pictures, that's really a tough one.

Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813551)

"I like the smell of Competition in the morning... Smells like... Victory" - for the consumers that is.

(apologies to the Francis Ford Coppola's The Apocalypse)

good or bad - not so obvious (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813565)

The bottom line : like the new online search, Microsoft have made a very good effort to get back in the game.

Considering how their beta search is keeping up now, they should be working a bit harder. But that's not the point. Thing is, I don't really like the parts of the stories which sound like "Then, on a sunny day's morning when our stock began to rise, Microsoft bought up some solution and suddenly became our competitor. That's when we started loosing grip."

In spite of this, I really think this will turn out to be something good. Don't get me wrong, I'm not rooting for MS here (never would). I just think this will make people like the good fellas at Google work harder and provide us greater solutions. Good competition will never hurt us (i.e. users).

I just hope that this indeed will be "good" competition. I also hope that integrating MS desktop and web solutions into Windows (next logical step from MS as we know them well) won't make others sue them, bacause that would make the others loose money and loose focus on development, thus making MS happy.

Am I right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813577)

Microsoft? More like Moogle.

Security/privacy nightmare! (1)

bigberk (547360) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813582)

As it is, I wouldn't trust any company (including Google) with total spidering access to my local files, if there is any kind of a link out to the Internet. Here for the first time you are bridging your entire local contents with the greater "marketing" Internet out there.

And on top of it, Microsoft has shown us that they feel things that we know should be user level applications are instead hooked right into parts of the OS. I would definitely not install something like this, I think there would be too many possibilities for my sensitive data to escape where I don't want.

I currently use a local file searching tool, but I'm comfortable using it because it contains NO networking code. There is no way the local information can get to the Internet.

I won't be surprised if (1)

museumpeace (735109) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813583)

the marriage of the hackable and porous OutLook with a technique for rapidly indexing desktop contents will eventually produce an exploit that lets a hacker find things on your computer by remote control of some fashion.

Lucene (1)

pldms (136522) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813598)

IIRC Lookout uses Lucene [apache.org] (or, more accurately) the .net port), so I guess this is a victory for free software,

It's also worth looking at Beagle [gnome.org] , a similar project for Gnome using lucene.

Congratulations to the Lucene developers. Taking over the desktop :-)
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