Microsoft Develops Search Technology

Gretchen Gallen
REDMOND, Wash. – Microsoft Corp. might be far from taking market share away from search leader Google, but in an effort to stay in the race the software king launched an improved search feature this week that will be integrated into Longhorn, the latest Windows operating system slated for release in 2005.

The new search product was announced by Yusuf Mehdi, head of Microsoft's MSN division, at an Internet conference in Las Vegas this week.

Mehdi said the new search technology conducts desktop searches of emails, personal computer contents, and databases accessed via the web. The built-in search technology operates as a single search system, instead of using different engines to achieve the same task.

Apple already has a similar desktop search feature built in to its operating system that also has Internet search capabilities.

The beta rollout for the new feature is expected in the coming months, however it is not likely to appear on the mass market until the release of Longhorn, which some analysts speculate could be in 2006 if Microsoft's projected release date fails to hit its mark.

The original release date for Longhorn was early this year, but the software giant delayed in order to focus its developer manpower on improving security features on Windows XP.

Longhorn is intended to present consumers with improved visual and computing capabilities over former Microsoft versions of its operating system. Pre-beta versions of Longhorn seen by industry analysts run OS on screens with a resolution of 120 dots per inch or higher.

Microsoft products account for 90 percent of the software market.