MSN Toolbar Suite, First Impressions

I’ve had Microsoft’s beta desktop search tool running for about 18 hours now and have some observations to make.

On the up side:

1. I love the emphasis given to the metadata.

2. Searches are quick and effective.

3. Shorcuts and commands from the deskbar rock!

4. Word Wheel is a great interface!

5. Right-click actions & drag and drop make the results much more useful.

On the down side:

1. The indexer doesn’t seem to handle multiple logged-in users very well. I haven’t done a controlled test to verify this yet, but when I logged into my home machine this morning, it appeared that the indexer had been running even while I logged in as a different user (Fast user switching). If anyone has trouble duplicating this, feel free to contact me (email address is in my profile).

Further suggestions:

1. Just like everyone else, I wish this would integrate with Hotmail a little more closely. Let me search my email! Even better, let me index multiple account types (Hotmail, gMail, POP, IMAP, Exchange), and let me add several email accounts to my search profile.

2. RSS! Let me include an opml blogroll for indexing. I don’t know how many times I’ve said to myself “Now I just read something about that the other day on some blog” and then I spend 15 minutes searching Technorati to find it. It’d be awesome if MSN Search could keep track of my online “experience” and let me recall things easily. (This would make the most sense if MSN Messenger had an integrated Blog reader).

3. Allow the machine to publish a secured “search service” that would allow me to tie all the machines I use together into a search group.

That’s all for now…