The new MSN Toolbar is now publicly available in beta. The big new feature is the integrated desktop search. I’ve been running internal builds for a while, and I love it. Obviously, comparisons will be drawn to Google Desktop but I can’t comment because Google Desktop wouldn’t run on my machine because I have the Microsoft ISA Server client (according to the Google Desktop Help Center, the latest version of the ISA client should work, but that’s what I was running). However, from looking at the Google Desktop screen shots, I know that Google doesn’t have my favorite feature of the MSN Toolbar – the Deskbar. It’s available via keyboard shortcut (Ctrl-Alt-M) and supports program execution (type “=appname” to launch appname) as well as typing shortcuts. I also like the search results page as I can narrow where my search executes in real time. For example, if I type “OOPSLA” into my deskbar it auto executes the the search across all locations on my desktop. As you would expect, the search screen is near-instant – just the time it takes to draw the window. Then I can narrow down to just show results from Documents, Email, Music, Pictures & Video, Email Attachments, Meetings, Contacts, etc. - in all around 19 different locations. I’m also only one click away from searching the web, news or images online from the search results screen.