Microsoft raises the bar once again.
From Microsoft’s Windows Vista Productivity features page:
Windows Vista uses indexing technology and search algorithms to provide rapid and scalable desktop search, optimized not only for local search, but also for distributed data scenarios like instant search over another Vista PC or a Longhorn server. With Windows Vista’s integrated desktop search tools, you can find files immediately by their name, metadata label, or any words from within the file or e-mail itself. With the embedded Quick Search Box, you need only to type a few letters in the name of the application you want to launch, press Enter, and Windows Vista launches that application. Searches can also be filtered in powerful ways, and searches can be saved for reuse.
Desktop visualization and organization
While desktop search is a much-needed tool for effective information management, it does not solve all information management needs. Windows Vista lets you see and work with your files in ways that you never could before.
New live icons helps you see past traditional system icons, so you can see live previews of applications, documents, photos and videos and the data underneath. Windows Vista gives you the ability to clearly see what is there and go directly to the item that you need – resulting in time savings and increased productivity for you and your organization.
Folders and Virtual Folders
Folders are a big part of the storage model in Windows Vista. In Windows Vista, you can still opt to save content in folders, but Windows Vista makes using folders fundamentally better by enabling tools like the Quick Search box and the Column Headers—a dramatic improvement when it comes to finding files and folders.
Windows Vista introduces a new organizational concept called a Virtual Folder, which is simply a saved search that is instantly run when you open the folder. Subsequently, any time you click on this Virtual Folder, Windows Vista runs the search and provides results almost immediately. Windows Vista will ship with many standard, preconfigured Virtual Folders, but you can create your own as well.