Microsoft buys search company Lookout

Microsoft buys search company Lookout

I’ve been using Lookout to search my vast (multi-GB) Outlook message stores for a while now. Basically, it indexes your mailboxes, calendar, and even local filesystem, and provides lightning fast search results. What can take Outlook’s built-in search 15 minutes to turn up can be found in seconds with Lookout. It’s fantastic, and lead developer Mike Belshe is very responsive and easy to work with. He was very helpful in addressing some issues I had with Lookout, and within a few days, released an updated version that fixed the problems.

Now that MSN has purchased Lookout lock, stock, and barrel, what does this mean for Microsoft’s “unified search” vision? Microsoft (and Google, too) has been talking about single search capability that returns results from your local computer as well as the web. Lookout masters local content searching , and it seems a simple and logical leap to join with MSN Search functionality to create a universal search function.

Lookout has changed the way I use Outlook – I don’t worry so much anymore about meticulously filing messages away in the right folder, so I can find them later. Now, I know that I can find any old message simply by searching for it, and I won’t grow old waiting for the results like I did with the built-in Outlook search.

Good luck to Mike and Lookout – may the partnership with MSN be successful!

Anyone else notice how the Lookout logo bears some resemblance to another famous search engine? Hope no one gets in legal trouble for that. 😉