Windows Search 4.0 to Become Available on Windows Update

Windows Search 4.0 to Become Available on Windows Update

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My good buds on the Windows Search Team have asked me to relay some exciting new information regarding Windows Search 4.0:

Since Windows Search 4.0 (WS4.0) was released to the web on June 3rd, we've seen a good number of downloads, and a number of positive responses from customers who started using it.  Users are telling us that they're seeing better performance and reliability of search after WS4.0 is installed.  As a result, we feel it's time to make WS4.0 available to the broader audience.

In late July WS4.0 will become available for installation off Windows Update. Customers using Windows XP will see WS4.0 available as an Optional update, meaning they can manually install it from  Windows Vista customers will see the update as a recommended update. Depending on the Windows Update settings on your Windows Vista SP1 client, WS4.0 may be installed automatically, updating the search capability in Windows Vista SP1. 

Not everyone will get it on the same day; the release of Windows Search 4.0 will be very gradual.  While every user will be able to install the update off the Windows Update site interactively, the automatic update may not come to your machine for some time. The update will go to a small percentage of Windows users each day, the percentage increasing gradually. If you want to have the update installed sooner rather than later, you can do it by opening the Windows Update control panel and installing the update manually.

It should be noted that installation of WS4.0 requires a reboot, and after that, your data is indexed by the newly installed search engine. This is done due to the significant performance and reliability work that was done for WS4.0, which required changes to the structure of the search index. As we observed in our internal testing, the indexing process doesn't take too long and won't lock your PC: any action you take in the UI or application activity on your PC will make the indexing process back off and release most of computer's resources.

For those organizations that prefer to take control over the deployment of WS4.0, we provide a mechanism to block the automatic delivery of WS4.0 to Windows Vista SP1 computers in environments where the Automatic Updates feature is enabled: However, an update management solution remains a recommended method of managing the schedule of updates. Visit Update Management Solutions for more information.

Later this year we are planning to make WS4.0 available for installations via WSUS. Keep an eye on the Microsoft Update Team Blog for more information.

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  • Duane Duane
    52463 Posts

    Certainly don't hate Windows Vista for 1 folder full of lots of files

  • I know this is a Vista blog but I can't find anywhere how to block this from installing on an XP client.  We do not want this service running on our company systems.  We in the past have been able to block IE 7 updates via Windows update but can't find the right reg entry for this.  Anyone have any clues?

  • jd2
    1 Posts

    I installed it on my XP but it does not show up under Add/remove programs.  How can I remove it?  I don't like it.

  • I also got the update in my Vista virtual machine which I use for development :)

    Cool :-)

  • BillD
    15 Posts

    There's a translation error in Italian version of Windows Search service:

    In the description of service there's written "Internet Explorer" instead "Windows Explorer"

    Look this screenshot:

    (Internet Explorer is the Internet browser, Windows Explorer is the file manager)

  • Disk4mat, the ability to add the search box directly within the taskbar no longer exists within Windows Vista like it did in Windows XP simply because search is now built into the Start Menu. Just use the Start Menu and search from there. One of my most favorite (and most used) features in Windows Vista :-)

    KevinR, thanks for your question. Certainly don't hate Windows Vista for 1 folder full of lots of files ;-) I will do some research for you to give you a answer as to why this folder exists but my bet is its pretty important.

    chakkaradeep, awesome! Let me know how things work out! I've now got all my Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 PCs running with Windows Search 4.0. Oh and so is my Windows Home Server too!

    - Brandon

  • I got the Windows Search 4.0 update for my Windows Server 2008 machine today :)

  • KevinR
    2 Posts

    Sorry if this is off topic but I couldn't find a blog entry referencing it. I just purchased a new PC with Vista. After installing all my software, there is a folder under Windows named winsxs that has bloated to nearly 8 Gb (EIGHT GIGABYTES)! How on Earth can this possibly be? How could Bill Gates, a person who knows a thing or two about efficient use of resources, sign off on an OS that allows a copmponent to hog 8 Gb of space? I wasn't part of the Vista hating crowd, but I sure am now!

  • Under Vista how can I add the search toolbar to the taskbar? I see its avail in XP and I read on another blog that v4.0 now has the (optional) search box on the taskbar.


  • Hi BillD - "hotpatching" will not work due to the level of indexer changes in Windows Search 4.0. The Windows Search Team has made some structural changes to the indexer to boost performance and reliability as mentioned above. The structural work in the indexer is big enough of a change a reboot is required.

    malebolgia, Windows Search 4.0 is a upgrade to the search capabilities that are in Windows Vista.

    kejser, can you be more specific? After what was done? After you were done encrypting your files you could not quick search? If I can get a little bit more info that would be great.



  • I'm confused, on Vista does WS4.0 replace the current search tool (upgrades it).

  • BillD
    15 Posts

    Why this update doesn't use the HotPatching to avioid the reboot? SP1 has enabled the HotPatching but we still have to see it in action... Please use HotPatching!

  • kejser
    2 Posts


    I have encrypted some files on my hard drive. After it was done, I could suddenly not quicksearch at the files anymore i Vista. Is that a mistake?

    with Sincerely,

  • dovella
    303 Posts

    Thx Brandon ;)