Windows 7 Federated Search
Microsoft began improving search in their operating systems with the release of Windows Vista. Vista enhanced the PC search functionality that was known from Windows XP to improve search results, performance and search items. This was however limited to the computer system the operating system was running on.
Windows 7 Federated Search takes this concept a step further by allowing users to not only search the local computer system but also remote repositories. Federated Search is based on the Open Search standard and RSS. This could allow users to search websites and services right from Windows Explorer. One prime example would be the Flickr Search Connector which allows users to search for photos on Flickr from Windows Explorer making it very easy to find and add new wallpaper images to the computer system.
Taimur has created a collection of search connectors that are already available for Windows 7 on his Redmond Pie blog. Users who are interested in creating their own search connectors might want to take a look at the Windows 7 Federated Search Provider Implementer’s Guide offered by Microsoft.