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Brandon Paddock's Blog Windows Desktop Search blogger

When it comes to desktop search, Google has the right idea.

Right now I use the MSN Desktop Search app.  I think it’s great, and I think when you compare the base install of MSN DS to GDS, MSN wins. 

But that’s not the end of the story.

Today I found this: http://desktop.google.com/plugins.html

Just look at some of the plug-ins that other people have written for GDS.  Right at the top, there’s one that hooks it into the normal Explorer search bar.   MSN should offer you that option right off the bat.  There are also new interfaces and plug-ins for all different apps – from IM clients to RSS readers to applications I’ve never even heard of.  There’s even a Java wrapper API already!

They offer a rich SDK for developers to download, offer a place for them to host their plug-ins, and they make requesting a search from the GDS service insanely easy.  Making that request doesn’t open the Google results window… It sends the results directly to the requesting application, which can handle them however it chooses.  That’s fantastic.

Right now MSN DS offers no developer support.  None.  Some of us have managed to hack out some additional functionality from the Deskbar, and I recently found a total hack job way to replicate the Search “shortcuts” that it can produce.  But we shouldn’t have to do that.  MSN should give us an SDK just like Google did.  They should offer some way to query the indexer for results that can be sent directly to the requesting app.  There should be a .NET/Windows Forms control that I can drop in to my .NET application.  So where is it?

Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2005 8:18 PM Desktop Search | Back to top

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