Friday, September 24, 2004

Microsoft making it easier finding data on hardrives

July 12, 2004

Microsoft is developing new technology to allow users finding information stored on hard drives easily, such as e-mails, certain documents and various data files.

On the other hand, Google is reportedly working on similar technology to allow faster and more relevant searches of information stored on personal computers.

"We are collaborating together across groups," Raikes told a group of reporters Thursday, adding that existing search functions within Office programs were already advanced enough to deliver relevant information to users.

Asked if the Office division, which Raikes oversees, was pursuing a specific search strategy, Raikes said that there was no specific effort but that his group was working with Microsoft Research and other divisions to enhance information retrieval in Office.

Office is Microsoft's second-largest division after Windows, offering a system of programs for business tasks. As a result, it generates and retrieves much of the information stored on computer hard drives.

Third-party software providers, such as Lookout Software, have attracted a large following of users by offering an add-on to Outlook, Microsoft's e-mail, contacts and scheduling program, that allows faster and more efficient searches of such information.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft's research arm has also been working on an information-retrieval technology called "Stuff I've Seen" that gives users an instant snapshot of information that they have used on a PC.

Asked if search functions would be integrated with Office, Raikes said that his group was "always working" on improving the functionality of Office and was not working on a specific time frame to compete against Google.

Search experts have identified local hard drive search as the next battleground among search providers.

X1 Technologies is offering a $99 software program called X1 Search that indexes and delivers nearly instant search results of information stored on hard drives, including e-mail and attachments. X1 was conceived by Idealab founder Bill Gross.

Source: ZD Net


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