I must admit, long time has passed since I used search feature in Windows 7 in some advanced way. Every time I used it, it was to find some document that I knew exact name. I do remember using Windows Desktop Search on Windows XP and Windows Vista, and as I remember, it worked great. There where many options for indexing content, queries where highly customizable, and results where very accurate.
Since my folders are very well organized, I can almost always find what I need, and up to now, my primary search tool was the one built into Office Outlook 2007, which I used to search my mail.
The time has come to do an advanced search on my documents folder. To my surprise, there where only two filtering features, size and date. For most users that is enough, but when you need to create more complex query, it will not do. On the picture on the left you can see that I selected “gigantic” file size filter, and for Win 7 Search, “gigantic” is everything over 128 MB. 🙂 I could not find a feature to customize size in a filter.
When you do a search in a folder or in a Library, you will get lots of results that are not exactly what you where looking for. On the bottom of the Search results pane, you will find couple of option for customizing your Search.
Most of you (including me), will click on Customize option expecting to see bunch of search options. But I must disappoint you. There are no advanced features there, only option to modify search scope and to extend it to more places (Libraries, disks, and so on).
It seams that Microsoft managed to cripple this very useful feature in Windows 7. Why was it so hard to port Windows Search 4.0 to Windows 7. And yes, I did try to install it on Windows 7, although I knew that it wont work. 😉
So what to do if you want quality search results? Will you install 3rd party product? Which one? Google Desktop search is even worse. I did manage to find couple of free applications, but after testing, they do not deserve to be mentioned.
Oh, yes. There is another solution! It seams that Microsoft gracefully implemented it in Search command line (not cmd). So, if you feel adventurous, and have a thing for command line, be my guest. Here is Windows Search Advanced Query Syntax home page and its MSDN equivalent.
To answer my question in the subject line: “In my honest opinion, Microsoft torpedoed Search feature in Windows 7 (as is backup), and I can only hope that they will release WDS 5.0 for this OS”.