Files, emails, and folders. Even the best of us sometimes misfile or loose things. Then, we need to locate that document in a hurry. Where did it go? Does this sound familiar?
Microsoft launched this week a new tool called Windows Desktop Search
(http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/web/desktop_search.mspx) and it works to help you locate your documents in a quick and easy fashion. Similar to Apple's Sherlock, the Windows Desktop Search will make an internal database of the collected files, and provide an interface to it. Using simple boolean operators (OR, AND, NOT), you can customize the results of the search, and narrow the responses to ones most relevant to your needs.
Having an index file, however, is not a good idea to the security minded. We will have to watch for viruses and other attacks that may enter that database, and quickly inventory it for particular keywards (quicken, accounts, passwords, addressbook, calendar, lawyer) and then send the results to someone else's screen. I would hope that such an index file is strongly encrypted. I cannot find any information, however, about it's design.
On the Windows Desktop Search webpage, there is also a link to install the MSN Search Toolbar into Internet Explorer. This new tool features tabbed browsing, a form filler (dangerous in my opinion -- I think automatic completion of forms is a horrible security risk), and a popup blocker. The Toolbar download page checks the type of browser that you are viewing the page on -- it noticed that my Linux Firefox was not IE, and suggested that I try running IE 5.01 or later. That won't happen, but I am glad that the suggestion is there for a more consumer-oriented audience.