Larry Osterman's WebLog

Confessions of an Old Fogey
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Why I removed the MSN desktop search bar from IE

Why I removed the MSN desktop search bar from IE

  • Comments 16

I was really quite excited to see that the MSN Desktop Search Team had finally released the final version of their MSN Desktop Search toolbar.

I've been using it for quite a while, and I've been really happy with it (except for the minor issue that the index takes up 220M of virtual memory, but that's just VA - the working set of the index is quite reasonable).

So I immediately downloaded it and enabled the toolbar on IE.

As often happens with toolbars, the toolbar was in the wrong place.  No big deal, I unlocked the toolbar and repositioned it to where I want it (immediately to the right of the button bar, where it takes up less real-estate).

Then I locked the toolbar.  And watched as the MSN desktop search toolbar repositioned itself back where it was originally.

I spent about 10 minutes trying to figure out a way of moving the desktop search bar next to the button bar, to no success.  By positioning it in the menu bar, I was able to get it to move into the button bar when I locked the toolbar, but it insisted on being positioned to the left of the button bar, not the right.

Eventually I gave up.  I'm not willing to give up 1/4 inch of screen real-estate to an IE toolbar - it doesn't give me enough value to justify the real-estate hit.

Sorry guys.  I'm still using the desktop search stuff (it's very, very cool), including the taskbar toolbar, but not the IE toolbar.  I hate it when my toolbars have a mind of their own.

Update: Someone on the CLR team passed on a tip: The problem I was having is because I run as a limited user.  But it turns out that if you exit IE and restart it, the toolbar sticks where you put it!

So the toolbar's back on my browser.

  • This release sucked...it keeps hanging my machine...I removed it all together and went back to Coveo.
  • I can understand and identify with the desktop space issue -- the tall gray space in Outlook that contains nothing but the folder name kept me from running Outlook for its first four versions.
  • I am glad that I did not download it immediately. The previous version used to hang my PC often. I had to unistall within 3 days.
    I had similar experience with Google search as well.
  • Maybe I didn't make it clear enough. I'm running MSN search (on several of my machines).

    I LIKE MSN desktop search. I just don't like it's toolbar.
  • A friend had this issue and said that it was fixed by logging off and back on again.

    Personally I use the Google Toolbar (version 3 has some new features but the web search is simply better).

    So I turn off the MSN toolbar and only use the MSN desktop search which in my opinion is far superior to the Google equivelent.
  • I have to say the toolbar has caused me a lot of issues both in the beta (and now in the release). Like you, I love the desktop search and will continue to use it but for exactly the same reasons I disabled the toolbar in the beta.

    So, now to the screwy release. When I go to disable the toolbar in IE I have Standard, Address, Links, Adobe and MSN Search. When I de-select MSN search it makes my Adobe toolbar disappear and vice versa. Something got really mucked up with this install because it didn't used to be like that. I'll have to try another yet another re-install (my upgrade from the beta failed and would just hang and crash forcing me to uninstall all versions and remove my index files!). ARGGHHHH.

    I will gripe about one more thing while I'm at it. The desktop search has no ability to select specific profiles to index. Right-now I can only choose my default profile. At least Lookout had that capability so I'm not sure why this wasn't carried over.
  • Sorry Larry but I can't replicate this. MSN Toolbar appears to stay wherever I put it, using IE 6 2180 and the new MSN toolbar. Are you running any other add-ins?
  • You don't know where you want the toolbar because you're not on the user interface team. Remember, Microsoft has lots of user interface experts. They *know* where you want the toolbar, and they put it there. You'll just have to learn that you want it that way. Besides, it'll be good preparation for the huge amounts of desktop space that are going to be wasted in Longhorn.
  • thats classic MSN application behavior .... messenger and the IA dialer have some classicly poor behavior as well.

    Messenger 7 tries to be a connectivity stack and CAN corrupt Windows Networking.
  • Hmm, works for me. I currently have the msn toolbar sharing with the menu bar. Not that it matters much. I only use IE on my corporate intranet because there's too much IE specific stuff there, otherwise it's firefox all the way.
  • Had the "Lock" problem with an earlier release, but I just upgraded to RTM and when I lock the toolbar, it stays in place.

    Previously, I just left it unlocked :)
  • I've done what Larry and a few others have apparently done: used the desktop search (which I absolutely love--better than Google--and could not live without anymore) and disposed of the IE toolbar. For me, though, the reason was more basic: MSN's web search just wasn't giving me results as well as Google.

    The results were good, but I almost always find what I'm looking for faster with Google. I'll try again in a few months--I *want* to believe MS can do search well, but it's not there yet.
  • It actually works quite well.
    I have been using the BETA and I am totally addicted to its use now.

    It did fail on me yesterday tough. I upgraded from the BETA to the final version using RUNAS (because I log on as LUA). It *did* upgrade, but then it kept crashing while trying to update my index. Even by temporary re-adding my user account to the Administrators group it was still not working, could not initialize indexing anymore.
    When logging as the built-in administrator it was udating its index, instead.

    I badly wanted to SEARCH for some articles and mails on using Desktop Search as LUA which I was sure I had read before, but... my Search facility itself was broken now. How could I search how to fix the search ?

    In the end I just uninstalled it altogether, reinstalled it while logged as a member of the Administrators group..... after which it started indexing fine.

    Then I removed my user account from the Administrators group again and went back to "LUA-mode", and now it works fine.

    The tool bar works, and I do use it a lot! :-)
  • Huh, worked for me too (IE 6.0.2900.2180.xpsp_sp2).

    MSN Search Toolbar: 02.01.0000.2214

    I was using Google, but for some reason am liking the MSN search better thus far. We'll see. :)
  • Glad to hear most of you like the desktop search areas of the product. We worked pretty hard on that. The problem you're seeing where selecting a toolbar shows or hides the wrong one is an IE bug unfortunately once you get several toolbars installed. You can reset the problem by a menu we provided on the toolbar help menu called "Reset IE Toolbar Menu"

    cheers
    David Dawson [MSN]
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