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Microsoft details Search experience in Windows 8

In an official Building Windows 8 blog post, Microsoft goes over the changes it has made to the search experience in the new Windows 8 operating system. The new search experience makes it easy and efficient to search for content, whether you are using a mouse, keyboard, or touch device.

Microsoft main goal when it came to the search feature was to make sure the new Start screen had the same efficiency and dexterity of the Windows 7 Start menu search.

“Our telemetry data shows that 67% of all searches in Windows 7 are used to find and launch programs. Searching for files accounts for 22% of all Windows 7 Start menu searches, and searching for Control Panel items about 9%. Searching for email messages via Start Menu is very rare (less than 0.05%). The remaining 2% are searches executing the “Run” functionality,” Microsoft stated. See the image below for a graph:

Microsoft revealed that the new search experience is built upon the search features available in Windows 7, but this time we get a unique view for each of the three system groups (Apps, Settings, and Files). “These search result views are a natural progression from the Windows 7 groups and are easily accessible from anywhere in the operating system via the Search charm or keyboard shortcuts. Separating the search results into views means we can tailor the experience for each data type. For example, the File search view provides you with filters and search suggestions while typing to quickly complete your query,” Microsoft adds.

Microsoft admits that more users are installing apps like crazy and in Windows 8, each search view is tailored for the type of content a user is searching for. This is the company’s attempt to limit search results due to screen real-estate, while providing necessary and important results.

Microsoft is also implementing a more keyboard-friendly search experience. “Using the keyboard to launch apps, settings, and files from search is a very important part of the Start search experience. We also put a lot of thought into preserving existing keyboard patterns, which both average and advanced users have come to rely on, and have built muscle memory around.”

Microsoft is working on implementing these changes for the Beta release of Windows 8, based on feedback.

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