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Microsoft is joining rivals like Fast, Google, Verity and Yahoo by offering enterprises Desktop Search software.

The software can be added onto any Microsoft server product for free. It will run on Windows-XP and Windows 2000-based machines.

It promises integrated search across desktop files, emails and shared network files. The announcement follows the release of a consumer version last summer. The enterprise version is similar to the consumer version but is said to be easier to deploy and manage.

Customers can choose the MSN Search Toolbar which lets you view search results from within Outlook. It can be customised to give access to the users desktop, corporate intranet or the web.

A beta tester customer, quoted in the press release, said users typically felt comfortable using the software within 15 minutes.

Available in 15 languages Desktop Search can be downloaded for free from http://msdn.microsoft.com.®

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