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Thursday, December 14, 2006

What is codename 'Casino' in Microsoft space?

Casino is the codename of a Microsoft project designed to deliver the next generation Windows search experience. During the developing stages, Microsoft considered releasing Casino under the Windows Live Brand umbrella. In this context, Casino was referred to as Windows Live Search Center, Windows Search Preview and Windows Live Desktop Search. Because Microsoft renounced the plans to make Casino a Live project, there have been reports that it had been shelved indefinitely.

Nothing can be farther from the truth. In fact, Casino merely relocated. “We came to realize that Live wasn’t really the place for us. Offering a “Windows” experience and a “Windows Live” experience that tried to solve the same problems only served to confuse our customers. “Why is this separate from Windows Desktop Search?” people would ask – and rightfully so, I think. As completion of Windows Vista and Office 2007 neared, we began thinking about where the technology best belonged. And with the completion of these products came an opportunity to refocus our efforts and align ourselves with our customers’ needs and expectations.

The technology that has been developed under the Casino project now has a new home. Casino is now a part of Windows. “What does this mean for “Casino”? Well, in the short term, it means we won’t be offering a public preview as soon as we’d hoped. There are a lot of benefits that come with being part of Windows: better integration, improved enterprise manageability, and easier deployment. Making a change like this takes time and effort, but in the end we think it’s the best thing for our customers", says Microsoft.

And to celebrate the move, the project has been re-baptized. Casino is now Windows Search 4. Microsoft has informed that it will release a preview of Windows Search 4 to the Microsoft's enterprise customers.

Looks like the team behind Casino started the project with some clear goals: to bridge the gap between searching local and remote data, and to create a next-generation desktop search experience building on the current Windows Search platform (offered in Windows Vista and Windows XP with WDS). The team consisted of developers from the original Windows Desktop Search team along with a team coming out of Microsoft Research who had built a next-generation Search prototype called Tesla.