From the press release Microsoft Delivers Powerful Upgrade to Desktop Search Capability for Windows Customers we find out

The MSN® network of Internet services today launched the new MSN Search Toolbar with Windows® Desktop Search, a suite of tools that helps people rapidly search across the Web or their PC and provides easy access to world-leading MSN services. The final version of the MSN Search Toolbar includes free enhancements for Windows® 2000 and Windows XP customers, providing a dramatically upgraded desktop search experience. These new innovations for Windows customers will make it easier than ever to find and retrieve documents, e-mail, images, video and more on their Windows-based personal computers.

"By offering the most integrated desktop search capabilities for Windows, now people can search their PC as fast as they can search the Web," said Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president for the MSN Information Services & Merchant Platform division at Microsoft. "The new MSN Search Toolbar makes it easy for customers to find precisely what they're looking for, no matter where it resides."

The MSN Search Toolbar, available for free download today at, enables people to conveniently search their desktops from within familiar applications they use every day -- including Microsoft Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office Outlook® -- combining the one-step ease of a Web search with the richness and power of the PC environment.

I was a bit confused by some aspects of this release. One of the reasons for this is that, and all have different content. It looks like the various toolbar related subdomains are now deprecated in favor of

As mentioned in my post from last year, Some Thoughts On the MSN Toolbar Suite Beta, the main feature I use is desktop search within Microsoft Office Outlook®. I notice that there has been one nice improvement in this feature; the inclusion of a preview pane for search results. This is very useful for skimming through mail messages returned by the search engine without having to open multiple mails. Even cooler is that the preview pane supports lots of different file types not just mail. Sweet.

One interesting data point is that at around the same time the MSN Search team blogged about adding tabbed browsing to Internet Explorer in a future release, the Internet Explorer team announced that IE 7 will have tabbed browsing. It looks like one way or another I'm going to get tabbed browsing in Internet Explorer in the near future.