MSN Toolbar Suite Beta Released

Yesterday afternoon, Microsoft’s MSN unit unveiled a beta version of the MSN Toolbar Suite, a sweeping set of desktop and Web searching tools that promises to give Windows users many of the search features that the company originally promised for Longhorn. The MSN Toolbar Suite includes the taskbar-based MSN Deskbar, Windows Explorer and Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE)-based toolbars, and the MSN Toolbar for Outlook. And, unlike a hastily released rival desktop search tool from Google, the MSN Toolbar Suite keeps your local file searches on your hard disk and doesn’t require a Web server to display results. Read the MSN Toolbar Suite Preview at Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows.

You know, this doesn’t look half bad! I use Lookout now in Outlook and this uses that technology, bought them in fact, so that’s a wash. I tried Google Desktop but removed it because of the performance hit, so I’d have to look at that. I use the Google toolbar now and love it, so that’s the only thing I’m reluctant to give up. I’ll toss it on a virtual PC and try it out.

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