aNewDomain.net – Microsoft Windows 8 is getting more mixed reviews than the power outage at Super Bowl XLVII. But Windows 8 Search is a major improvement to the operating system. Here’s why.
In Windows 7 and older versions, you gave it a term to search for and, optionally, you restricted the location to search in. As long as you had a good idea of what you were looking for, you’d usually get your result.
If you didn’t know what you needed or where it was, the search would require repeated tries. And if your search involved crawling an entire hard drive, it took serious time.
With Windows 8, search works differently. The newly unified search lets you search for anything – programs, settings or files – all from the same location.
It works as long as Windows Search Indexing is turned on, and it is by default. Properly set up, your search results will be comprehensive and pop up quickly.
In my example search, I searched for anewdomain. This is a fairly straightforward search. What I ended up with were 266 results, most of them images.
What gives? Windows 8 is searching file names, folder names and, even, within individual files. This was possible before, but it wasn’t as direct. And the system didn’t break up results for you. Notice that in my example search, I’m able to restrict the results to only documents — or only pictures.
Now, these features aren’t going to be helpful for finding a misplaced file with a known file name. That’s easy anyway. But where the new Windows 8 search comes in handiest is in the more complicated searching. Like when you have an idea of what you’re looking for, but you’re not quite sure where it was or what you named it.
The improvements to Windows Search mean that these searches will be far less painful.
Knock Windows 8 all you want, but there’s no question to me that, in Windows 8, the new unified search feature is definitely better. I’ve even found that using Windows Search is faster for locating and starting my programs than the traditional start menu search capability ever was. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.