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Windows Search 4.0 Preview release

by Brandon on March 27th, 2008

Today we made available the WS 4.0 preview release for Windows XP, Vista, and Server 2003/2008.  You can read details about WS 4.0 at the following sites:

Vista Team Blog – Announcing the Windows Search 4.0 Preview

KB Article describing Windows Search 4.0 (with download links)

This release is mainly an update to the Windows Search indexer, and provides countless performance improvements, bug fixes, and reliability / recoverability features.

The XP/2003 version has been updated with more features previously exclusive to Vista – such as the ability to search remote indexes for network shares, and the ability to host Vista-style preview handlers in the preview pane.

WS4 also provides some cool new query capabilities for developers, which I will describe and give some examples of in future posts.

The most noticeable difference is probably how fast it is.  Those geniuses down the hallway in indexer land really pulled off some impressive feats with this release.

Since there are six different downloads depending on your OS, I’ll just refer you to the KB article for downloading the preview release.

Let us know what you think!

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  1. Mark permalink

    I was happy with Vista’s search before, but man, this update really increases the speed! It’s now truly a search-as-you-type solution!

  2. Congrats on getting this out the door!

  3. Luther permalink

    Good news. 🙂
    One question: is it now possible to perform simple text search within search result document, displayed in Preview Pane?

  4. anonymous permalink

    The single most useful thing I could ask for is the availability of search folders/virtual folders on Windows XP in Explorer. This has been available on the Google search platform as third party extensions/utilities. Are there any utilities which use the WDS API or does Microsoft ever plan to bring virtual folders to Windows XP?

  5. mikenchi permalink

    Hi Brandon, Let me first say that I have been using WDS since 2.x came out, and congratulations on an awesome product. I really cannot work without it nowadays. I’m looking forward to trying out 4.0. I haven’t installed yet but will be very soon.

    I have been trying to get WDS pushed out to all my company’s employees as I think it’s an awesome tool which really increases productivity. Plus, the price is right. ($0)
    With WS4, is it possible to search SharePoint 2003 sites? I would really like to see this option become available. We have a large SharePoint deployment in our company and WDS/Sharepoint integration would make this product nearly perfect.

  6. Hi Brandon,

    I tested several desktopsearch products and WDS 2.66 was the best. 3.01 lost because it could not index conected delegated mailboxes, which was a requirement for us.

    Just very recently we discovered a serious security problem. WDS 2.66 does not respect “Private” flag on connected delegate mailboxes. Secretaries cannot normally see bosses “Private” marked items, but the can search for them and read on WDS 2.66 preview pane!

    I wish 4.0 final version had just a GPO setting “Prevent indexing of private items in delegate mailboxes”.

    Best regards,


  7. Hi Tomek,

    I asked our WS4 experts and found out that WS 4.0 does not index items marked “private” in the delegate store. I am unsure if the preview release had this fix or not, but it is in our RC and will be in the final RTW version. I hope this helps =)


  8. Sha permalink

    Hi Brandon,

    We’ve been using WDS 3.01 in our Search Application. We use “System.Search.AutoSummary” property to retrieve the preview text
    from WDS. But to our suprise in WS 4.0, this property is not supported. I’ve tried to find out alternate property to use with
    WS 4.0 but no luck.
    And also, the “System.Search.AutoSummary” retrieves the first 2K data from the WDS, which is not useful in most cases. Our
    requirement is to retrieve the text that is near to the Search word hit.

    Could you please point us to the right property to use?


  9. Yehuda permalink

    Sha, did you find an answer to the System.Search.Autosummary problem as you posted here?

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