Microsoft Delays New Windows Search Feature

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Microsoft will release its long-awaited update to its Windows operating system in 2006 without its advanced file search capability, the company said last week.


The Redmond, WA, company said the new operating system, code named Longhorn, would come without WinFS, a system designed to search for information scattered throughout a computer in different file types. Microsoft was expected to combine desktop search with the Web search engine it is also building. Instead, it will release a test version of WinFS with Longhorn, in a delay the company characterized as a "tradeoff" for making the operating system available quickly.


The combination of desktop and Web search is seen as a key to Microsoft cutting into the lead established by rival Google in search. Google is reportedly working on its own file search system. Ask Jeeves in June bought Tukaroo, a startup that makes software to search users' hard drive, local network and Internet.


Microsoft's MSN unit aims to release a Web search engine by next summer to compete with Google and Yahoo. The company has pledged to spend $100 million on its search efforts.


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