Why Did Microsoft Decimate Search in Vista?

by Preston Gralla

Until RC2, one of the best features of Vista was its speedy, exceedingly powerful Search features. But with RC2, Microsoft essentially threw Search under the train, making some of the most bizarre user interface decisions imaginable. Why did Microsoft decide to decimate the great Search tool?


Jeffrey Ridout
2006-11-02 02:26:52

I'm not sure what's wrong with your Vista RC2 installation, but in mine the search input field is always available next to the address bar. Clicking the X on the right on the input field always brings back the folder view.

Donald J. Bales
2006-11-02 17:41:54
I don't know about their decision in Vista, but my exprience is that they killed it in XP. It hasn't been worth a damn since Windows 2000. I had to buy a third party tool to do the job. And, while I'm whining about my favorite operating system, I find that it takes 2 to 3 minutes for explorer to respond on a machine with SATA drive. Arggh.
Douglas W. Goodall
2006-11-02 22:26:26
I am not sure why they would cripple such a nice feature. There is probably some design doc abot that, let me search.. Oh
2006-11-04 00:54:46


"...killed the Search pane in RC2...sort of."

Oh. OK.

"...if you type anything in the search box, the option will appear in any folder...but if you delete the text in the search box, it won't appear... Why you my ask?"

Sure. How about "Why you would need the search pane without a search string?"

"I then asked (Micro$oft) for the logic behind it. None was forthcoming."

But dude, check this out! I had to give it a shot myself. Things got kinda hairy fast, so I got these OS X and KDE gui wizards I know involved to help out with the initial flow design. After a couple of all-nighter's at the white board (and a case of Jolt), I think we finally came up with something very promising:


I'll admit it's still totally untested code at this point, still more of a concept than any kind of solution, but I think we're getting close.
2008-03-09 19:23:39
I have several Word docs with the string "Philip" and Vista search doesn't find any of them. It's works great searching by file name, but so far has been completely useless for content. Am I missing something? In contrast the search under XP worked beautifully. Vista seems to have fixed things that weren't broken, improved features out of existence, and provided new features that seem completely pointless.