Upgrading to Microsoft Office 2007 & Windows Desktop Search. Why Upgrading “Late” Is Not Bad

This week I finally upgraded my computer to Microsoft Office 2007. Along with the upgrade I started using Windows Desktop Search as well, as that was required to do “instant searches” in Outlook. I had been using Google’s Desktop Search

My reason for upgrading to Office 2007 was to see if it would help speed up Microsoft Outlook. My “PST” file, the file Outlook uses to store all its data is at about 2GB. However, I don’t think the size is the problem as Microsoft has expanded the 2GB limit to 20GB in Outlook 2003 and 2007. But I figured upgrading might help in any case to speed things up. It has to some degree.
Guess what? I’m glad I did. Office’s 2007 new interface is much cleaner than 2003’s. The ribbon is much better and easier to use.
I’m quite “Google biased” as I use many Google applications (Apps, Search, blogging, Email). When I upgraded Office, I also installed Windows Desktop Search. Guess what – from what I can tell it’s much faster and has a better interface than Google’s desktop search.
I frequently use desktop search to find files – in Outlook or elsewhere. I’m using Google and Microsoft’s desktop search tools side by side and I can see a clear difference. Here’s Google’s search engine screen, compared to Microsoft’s better one above.

See the difference in the interfaces?
What does this mean for you? Well it means that harnessing technology is something you MUST do. The BENEFITS of technology are here – now. You just must embrace it.
Google first made popular desktop searching. Desktop search existed, but it was not free. Microsoft came along, after Google and from what I can tell – made it better. Sure, Microsoft had a crappy search tool built into Windows – but as I said, it was crappy. Of course, Google’s going to update it’s search tool and I’m sure the interface will get better. This is the beauty of technology evolution. The good companies continue to innovate to please customers and gain market share.
Some lessons on the upgrade to Office 2007.
I only upgrade Office recently as there was no pressing need to upgrade earlier. I’m sure many of you have not upgraded yet as there’s little need to upgrade (you tink) compared to the price. I’m sure it will take me several weeks to get all I can out of the new Office 2007 and in some ways I do regret not upgrading earlier.
However, on the other hand if you have 10, 20, 50 computers, you should not feel pressured to upgrade every time there’s a new update to your software. How should you decide?
First test the new version on a sub-set of your employees. See how they like it and the benefits gained.
Second consider rolling it out to all your staff if the benefits gained are worth it.
This decision is going to be different for everyone and it’s important that you consult with your technology professional on what makes sense for you.