Microsoft has started offering enterprises Desktop Search software, joining the ranks of such rivals as Google and Yahoo in doing so. The software, which can be added onto any Microsoft server product for free, runs on Windows-XP and Windows 2000-based machines and searches desktop files, emails and shared network files.

The enterprise version is similar to the consumer version but is said to be easier to deploy and manage.

Customers can choose the MSN Search Toolbar which lets you view search results from within Outlook. It can be customised to give access to the users desktop, corporate intranet or the web.

A beta tester customer, quoted in the press release, said users typically felt comfortable using the software within 15 minutes.