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Matt McSpirit on Virtualisation, Management and Core Infrastructure

Vista Search: Au Naturale...

Vista Search: Au Naturale...

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You may be interested to know that I'm actually writing this blog post at about 35,000 feet, cruising along on BA049 from London Heathrow to Seattle Tacoma.  I know what you are thinking; I work too hard, right?  Well, for me, plane time (while my battery lasts), is the ideal time to get through those emails that you've been meaning to get through for a while, and I stumbled on a beauty, from a colleague of mine, Christian Bezençon, who alerted me to this post on Channel 9: which talks about Natural Language Search in Vista.  Now, in the past, I've stumbled upon a little check-box in the search-options section, pictured below, and always wondered what it does, and why it isn't turned on by default.

Search OptionsWell, now I know, and I think I'm going to switch it on!  As you know, using Vista, you can pretty much find everything on your system from the start menu.  There are advanced commands that you can use; filters, such as kind: music artist: (Beethoven AND Mozart), but not everyone knows that, and can't write those more advanced commands, and therefore can't exploit even more power from the Vista search.  However, fear not, help is at hand!

With Natural Language Search switched on, you can perform searches as if you were actually talking to someone.  For instance, you walk into you local record store and say "I'd like music by Oasis or the Rolling Stones", and they'd say ok, just over there.  You can now do the same in Vista.  By simply typing Music by Oasis or Rolling Stones, that us exactly what Vista will bring you back.

To turn on Natural Language Search
1. Click to open Folder Options.
2. Click the Search tab.
3. Select the Use natural language search check box.

If you've grown to love those filters, you can still use them with the Natural Language Search turned on, and you can even use the same properties to fine tune your natural language searches.  Genius!

Examples of these Natural Language Search include email from bill sent today, documents modified last month, and blues music rated *****.  Useful?  I think so too.

  • I have to admit that is pretty cool but Microsoft has to work better on making these options more obvious. And another thing, I disabled some processes from starting at startup (msconfig) and now I get this annoying balloon message from stop from starting up. How annoying!

  • Cool feature! I wish they thought of that during the time when they were still developing XP. I haven't shifted to Vista yet for fear that some of my peripherals and software won't run on it. However, I think that problem of mine has been solved already. I found an extensive database of Vista drivers on the Web -- Now the only problem left is where to find the money to buy Vista Ultimate :)

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