Microsoft outlines Windows 8 search improvements

By on October 20, 2011, 10:10 AM

Microsoft has detailed some of the improvements they have made to search functions in Windows 8. Program manager for the search, view and command user experience team Brian Uphoff authored the post on Microsoft’s Building Windows 8 blog which focuses on built-in search capabilities for files, settings and apps that complement existing Windows 7 search features.

The first step in updating search in Windows 8 was to uncover what Windows 7 users searched for the most. Telemetry data showed that 67 percent of all queries in Windows 7 were used to find and launch programs. Locating files accounted for 22 percent of searches and control panel features were the target 9 percent of the time.

As such, search results in Windows 8 will be primarily grouped into three system categories – Apps, Settings and Files. Separating results into these groups allows Windows 8 to tailor the experience for each data type. For example, the File search offers search suggestions and filters while typing to complete your query.

With Windows 8, Microsoft expects users to install more apps than ever before. The goal is to make the app search process as easy and seamless as possible.

“In Windows 7, the total number of results that could be shown in the Start menu was limited,” says Uphoff. “With Windows 8, on the other hand, we’re following an app-first model, where each app developer understands their data and users best, and knows the best way to present the information to them.”

Other key changes include removing email messages and contact information from search results. Research showed that less than 0.05 percent of users would query these types of data. Other changes include a set of keyboard shortcuts to help users get to specific search categories quickly.




User Comments: 14

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lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Somebody really needs to grab a newspaper, drop it in water, roll it up, and smack each and every person in team that thought of putting Metro as the prominent UI, and while doing so, yell "NO!"

Guest said:

Metro UI is bullshit

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

I hope they have the option for the Classic Windows Theme???

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

3dcgmodeler said:

I hope they have the option for the Classic Windows Theme???

Yes they will

MaXtor MaXtor said:

Windows Millennium III?

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I seriously HATE windows search.

Why, oh why, can't they have an option to search a single folder from the right click menu? They had it in XP, and maybe even Vista IIRC, but its gone in 7.

That is my BIGGEST gripe with Windows is the inability to search a single folder like that.

Guest said:

Upgraded from XP in 2009, not buying 8 in 2012, sticking with 7 64-bit. Sorry Microsoft ;)

jimsing59 jimsing59 said:

I have been using Windows 8 and have listed all of the programs that are already compatible with Windows 8 on my journal. So far, the Metro UI apps are not ready and it is just a platform for the future. Developers need to get busy if the Metro UI is going to be a success. I am going to start testing these apps shortly but don 't use Facebook or Twitter anymore. I can't comment on the UI until the beta but am missing the old start search.

Guest said:

What are they smoking?

Guest said:

As for the Metro UI:

Microsoft,

WTF is the matter with you? My PC is a PC, not a tablet or cell phone. Quit trying to follow Apple and do something unique. Design the interface for a PC and leave the tablet interfaces to someone that knows what they're doing.

Guest said:

"I seriously HATE windows search.

Why, oh why, can't they have an option to search a single folder from the right click menu? They had it in XP, and maybe even Vista IIRC, but its gone in 7.

That is my BIGGEST gripe with Windows is the inability to search a single folder like that.

4 Hours Ago 12:38 PM"

@gwailo247 : you can : when ur in a folder, the search bar at the top right allow you to search for stuff in that folder.

nigel said:

Whilst I hate Windows Search the ONLY use I do is for email search and they are removing that!

With the Metro UI coming and for a laptop/desktop user it looks terrible - a reason I see at the moment to keep to Windows 7 till 2018 - and maybe by then Windows 10 will be on the cards with the proper features.

Hopefully Android will live the dream and take over from Windows on the laptop/desktop in 2013!

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"I seriously HATE windows search.

Why, oh why, can't they have an option to search a single folder from the right click menu? They had it in XP, and maybe even Vista IIRC, but its gone in 7.

That is my BIGGEST gripe with Windows is the inability to search a single folder like that.

4 Hours Ago 12:38 PM"

@gwailo247 : you can : when ur in a folder, the search bar at the top right allow you to search for stuff in that folder.

I'm pretty sure he knows that. I think he specifically meant search a folder by righ-clicking it, and clicking on the option, as opposed to having to go in the folder and type on the search bar; which, at that moment, already defeats most of the purpose.

djforeman djforeman said:

Why does MS think my desktop should look like a phone or a tablet. I already have a phone and I have a desktop wherever I need one. Phones will never have the power of desktops. Tablets might come close, but by then, desktops will be even more powerful.

as for search: I use it all the time. I have several thousand files and cross-relating them is what a good search engine should be able to do, not just find a keyword ina file or its name. Why not put the power of MS ACcess (or some other DB prgm) into the search engine and give it some REAL query power? Find all photos of me at the beach with my wife. Find all files related to <topic> even if <topic> does specifically appear inthe file or its name. Now THAT is a search I could use a LOT! ANd REALLY justify a more powerful system when I need it. New UI? Feh! Who needs it?

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