Search Should Be External to Email

Recently, Microsoft has been offering a nice little plug-in for Outlook, called Lookout. As we've blogged previously - it provides a decent and usable search engine across an Outlook PST and a wide variety of other documents on your desktop. It's a nice offering. Anyone who's struggled with Outlook's earlier search capabilities will sigh with relief.

However, this raises the question: Should search be email-client-centric, or external to Outlook?

Users want a single search engine, that is powerful, and with which they are familiar. Search applies to many types of document, not just email. Google's desktop search tool is a good example of what we need. Over the longer term, search will be external to email, and message stores will be one of many data types they encompass.

Author: David Ferris

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