Technology news site Neowin.net revealed MSN's desktop search plans this weekend, reporting that Microsoft is using technology acquired from its purchase of Lookout Software earlier this year. Dubbed the MSN Toolbar Suite, the beta software provides an MSN Toolbar for Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), Microsoft Office Outlook, and Windows Explorer, and a new tool called the MSN Deskbar, which appears to sit in the Windows taskbar.
"Perhaps the most important thing in the Toolbar Suite package is the installation of the separate MSN Desktop Search," Neowin.net's Tom Warren noted in a post on the site. "The results gained from simply searching for files are amazing. Searching is speedy, and you can even search for the author of certain files. The same technology is applied to the Outlook search. The MSN Toolbar integrates directly into Outlook, allowing you to replace the standard search tool. Search results for Outlook are impressive, too. Clicking directly on an email \[message\] that you've searched for launches the \[message\] within seconds."
Just last week, Microsoft revealed a new beta version of its Web-based MSN Search tool, which competes with market-leader Google and will be finalized sometime next year. The company's desktop-based search tools appear to offer both local and remote searching through various points in the UI. Neowin.net notes that the MSN Toolbar Suite will debut in December. For more information and a nice collection of screenshots, see the Neowin.net Web site.