I love completely unbiased and totally accurate reporst and reviews like this one for the MSN toolbar. Some of the gems:
Spotlight's biggest claims to fame, presumably, are its near-instant search results and support for document meta data, both of which are, again, planned features of Longhorn. But no matter. While Apple has been busy copping Windows features since Jobs returned to Apple in late 1996, the company's tiny market share ensures that very few people will benefit from Spotlight, despite Apple claims that it will deliver on desktop search a year before Microsoft ships Longhorn.Anyone tried this? Will it use Firefox if it's the default browser? Will it search firefox browser cache? How does it deal with the security implications that google's desktop search had to deal with? None of these questions, funnily enough, are answered in the review.
Then, in October 2004, Google released a buggy Google Desktop Search beta just two months after the company heard about Microsoft's plans to release a beta MSN desktop search tool by the end of 2004. [...] The most notable feature of Google Desktop Search, so far, has been its widely-publicized security bugs.
Maybe you're using the new MSN Search beta to find out information about your favorite musical group. If you search for that band's name, the first link on MSN Search will direct you to MSN Music, from which you can find out more information, or even buy music, which is kind of amazing.
Update: After a few minutes and a download I found the answers. Sort of (sometimes it opens an IE window, sometimes it's firefox), sort of (by default it only searches email and the My Documents folders, but you can tell it to search all folders or specific locations, not sure if it'll recognize the browser cache for what it is), and kinda (see previous answer, I think that it will have the same problems with security as the google solution if you choose to search all files and folders).
Additionally I notice it's IE toolbar looks a lot like the google toolbar for IE, and the popup blocker has a wack of msn type sites allowed by default, and it also has the ability to automatically fill in form information, including credit card info. Oh, and if this is a beta why is the version number in the 'add remove programs' set as 2.0?