A new version of MSN Desktop Search has been released. After trialling a few others this has become my default search tool and one of the most used apps on the pc. It searches instantly, returning searches in real-time and the presentation of the results is excellent. It covers all the file types I need but surprisingly for a Microsoft app it supports add-ins, is feature rich and allows you to add shortcuts and functionality of your own. The latest version tarts up the presentations and adds some new searching features.

The searching is pretty powerful allowing you to use NOT, date ranges and size ranges. You can also search against document properties, so ‘author:richard sent:march’ will find all mail sent by Richard in the month of March. A nice feature is that clicking on the green arrow on the toolbar will open up results in a desktop search windows, allowing you to click on the mail or doc and see a preview in the right hand pane. You can also view by result type (mail, document, mp3) to get to the results quicker.

Shortcuts can also be added. Typing in the following ‘@delicious,http://del.icio.us/tag/$w’ will allow you to do quick del.icio.us searches by typing delicious forza which will return all del.icio.us entries with the tag Forza. More desktop shortcuts can be found here. You can also add shortcuts to apps, so @word,=winword will allow you to type word to launch Word. Very cool and unusually adaptable for Microsoft. The indexing doesn’t add any noticeable overhead either – all in all a recommended app and my first install on a new machine after I lock it down with security apps.