Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Lookout was bought to beat Google?

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=technologyNews&storyID=5820713

<quote>
...but Microsoft vice president Yusuf Mehdie gave the clearest signal yet that Microsoft would enter the local hard drive search space, considered the next battleground among search technology providers.

"We will be able to search beyond the Web in a very fast fashion," Mehdie told analysts and reporter gathered at Microsoft's Redmond, Washington, headquarters for its annual analysts meeting.

...

Earlier this month, Microsoft bought Lookout, a small program that allows users of its Outlook e-mail, contacts and scheduling program to bypass the search tools provided by Microsoft and sift through e-mail, contacts and other information with keywords. Results by Lookout, which can also search through files on the hard drive, are returned nearly instantaneously.

Microsoft gave no indication whether it used any technology from Lookout for its new search technology.

...

In a demonstration, Mehdie typed search terms into a prototype version of MSN Toolbar, which runs as an add-on to the Internet Explorer browser.

Search results, such as e-mail, e-mail attachments, pictures and documents, were also returned nearly instantaneously. Results from the Web for the same search terms were displayed on a separate pane to the right.

</quote>

KayJay
Friday, July 30, 2004

Looks like Microsoft is going to use its desktop muscle to crush competition again.

RZ
Friday, July 30, 2004

It is interesting to note that a fellow co-respondent here at JoS, Peter Horadan, mentioned Google will come up with the additional tab for the local disk in the search results. An point of view I shared. Looks like MS beat Google to it.

<quote source=" http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=164880 ">
Google already has a skunkworks to do what X1 does.  It's not hard to imagine an experience where you type your search into Google, and one more tab along the top (images, news, etc) is "my pc".
</quote>

KayJay
Friday, July 30, 2004

MS has the "it comes with windows, so when you search it'll be our search engine" thing, but Google is... well, Google. They already read all of our searches & email, so why not our entire hard drive as well.

www.MarkTAW.com
Friday, July 30, 2004

Ah! But it is an _add-on_ to IE. For MSN search. So by indexing and searching your HD, google+ctrl+enter will slowly move to msn+ctrl+enter. It need not "come with Windows". More plug-ins for more browsers or make IE downloadable again. If search is the next big thing, (I have my doubts about that, but I'll have to formulate my thoughts some more before I say more on that) MS is sure to change its business model for its web browser.

KayJay
Friday, July 30, 2004


Unlikely.

Lookout is based on Lucene from the Apache Foundation.  It is governed by that license and it's unlikely that MS would seek to distribute anything that they did not have control over the licensing.

KC
Friday, July 30, 2004

That demonstration was just a preview.  There is no release date, only "before Longhorn".  Google can still beat Microsoft to the punch, and probably will.

See article at news.com:
http://news.com.com/Microsoft+puts+multisearch+tool+on+show/2100-1008_3-5289463.html

Oren
Friday, July 30, 2004

If regular users need to search their entire hard drives for something like a letter, there's somethig wrong with the OS.

If a user doesn't know if something is on their hard drive or the Internet, there's something wrong with the user.

And how much innovation and magic is really needed to quickly search My Documents for the letter I wrote last year?

am I missing something?
Friday, July 30, 2004

Most people don't have a schema & a taxonomy by which they store their information. Most people place things randomly, and in an extremely disorganized fashion, dicated by their whims & not any formal, repeatable logic.

Computers, on the other hand..

www.MarkTAW.com
Friday, July 30, 2004

am I missing something? >>> And how much innovation and magic is really needed to quickly search My Documents for the letter I wrote last year?

And how often do I want to search my computer for a letter I wrote and simultaneously search the Internet for the same topic?  I can't think of any type of search I do on the Internet, that I also do on my PC.

Ward
Friday, July 30, 2004

"And how often do I want to search my computer for a letter I wrote and simultaneously search the Internet for the same topic?"

Exactly - this has brought up several times in the "search comes local" discussions, and it just isn't rational -- what I search for online is entirely different than what I search for locally.

SEARCH: My credit card #

Dennis Forbes
Friday, July 30, 2004

Where local search could become a useful thing is to create virtual folders or views of your files.  Outlook 2003 can do this now with email -- they call it Search Folders -- and I like it.

The advantage is that I don't have to ever physically organize my emails into folders -- no matter how you do it, e.g. by date, by topic, by sender, etc. it quickly breaks down and you have stuff that does not neatly fit into one category, or you don't remember where you put something when you try to find it later, or you are like me and not diciplined enough to properly file every email.

In outlook, I now leave all my email in one folder.  Using Search Folders, I can create views for mail from a person, or based on subject, or whatever I define in a search query.  It really is better than any physical organization scheme I have ever tried.

Extending the idea to the local hard drive, with virtual folders, you could create a view of your files that includes all files that mention a person's name, or a project, or span a date range, etc.  That would allow rapid resorting and reorganization of your information without having to move the underlying files at all, and it allows the same file to appear in multiple folders if it's relevant, even though there's just one underlying copy.

AMS
Friday, July 30, 2004

AMS, BeOS been doing that since '97.

KayJay
Saturday, July 31, 2004

> AMS, BeOS been doing that since '97.

And by 2007, MS should have it as standard in their latest OS version. Sounds like the MS research division is keeping to its usual timeline.  :)


Sunday, August 01, 2004

Everyone makes such a big deal out of something like LookOut. I am not impressed at all out of some open source project that added some little features to help me search for mail!!!!  O please....what a concept...old news...what's next in line ???  Serving ticket whaaaaaaaaaaa

Jonny Boy
Sunday, August 01, 2004

The whole point is that Outlook didn't have it and it was  a real PITA.

I've just installed it today (took me twenty attempts to download the .NET framework) and am highly impressed. I have about 30,000 emails that need searching.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home