Windows Desktop Search is the invaluable technology from Microsoft that indexes Outlook folders and documents for lightning-fast searches – the same technology that underlies many features of Windows Vista.

Here’s a bit of confusion that fortunately doesn’t make a difference for most of you.

A month ago Microsoft released WDS version 3.0, intended to replace version 2.6.5, with some architectural improvements – it runs as a service with less of a load on the system and supports Office 2007 files. Oddly, though, WDS 3.0 will not index the contents of network folders without a separate add-in that’s difficult to find, the “Add-in for UNC/FAT.” Another disappointment in version 3.0 is the lack of support for indexing the contents of PDF files – Adobe has not yet updated its iFilter for the new version.

I couldn’t figure out why the main WDS web site didn’t start linking to the new version of the program. I’m even more confused today that Microsoft has released an updated version 2.6.6, which is what the WDS site connects to as of today. Is there no confidence in version 3.0?

When I installed 2.6.6 and clicked to get add-ins, I was taken to one gallery of add-ins – but it was the wrong one, the one displaying add-ins that work with 3.0. I should have been taken to a completely different page of add-ins that includes Adobe’s PDF iFilter for version 2.6.

Frankly, version 2.6 has a slightly prettier setup. I’m going to link to it for right now and ignore version 3.0 until this sorts itself out.

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