Lookout Review in CNET

Another Desktop Search Review came out this week, and this one is from CNET.

Lookout didn’t fare as well in this review, where it ranked 3rd in a field of 5 (6 if you count Google, but they didn’t really review Google.

The reviewer was reviewing “products that index your hard drive”, and cited a few Lookout weaknesses, including lack of searching outside of outlook, not having the files/attachments indexed by default, and not having a file preview pane (fair enough). I think given that Lookout is clearly focused more at email indexing, this is not too surprising.

The reviewer never contacted Microsoft or Lookoutsoft for comment.

But its interesting to see the individual reviewer’s own bias in these tests. (Of course, I’m probably just bummed because Lookout wasn’t first!)

For example, the reviewer’s test had a corpus of “129 emails”. How can anyone review an email search tool with a corpus of only 129 emails? Do you have only 129 emails in your mailbox? The last time I saw a mailbox that small was the morning I started at Microsoft. Before the end of the day, my mailbox was larger than that!! So for this reviewer, he was searching for files. OK. Thats his slant.

Another interesting thing is that he didn’t even mention how well you can manipulate results once you’ve opened them. This indicates to me that he doesn’t really use a search product himself. We can all do the cursory glance at a product, and see which features “look nice”, but when you actually use it on a day-to-day basis, which one is most useful? This author didn’t mention the fact that you can’t drag-and-drop items from search result lists, or that you can’t delete/move/copy/reply/reply-all/etc from several of these products.

Anyway, I think the review was pretty fair for who searches filesystem stuff best. I hope to see a review sometime soon where the reviewer really gets a realistic view of how email fits into a worker’s daily life. Its easy to superficially “search my hard drive”. But, I don’t think thats nearly as big of a problem as “where is that email that Bob sent me with the accounting figures?” I’d love to see someone rank these products based on the latter.