I don’t intend to make a career out of grumbling about Vista, i just keep bumping my head. Today it was the search box. To their credit, Microsoft has attempted to make search ubiquitous (or cut off Google Desktop at the knees) by putting this feature right in Windows Explorer, and when it works (like in the Start Menu), it’s great. But here’s a place it doesn’t work, at least not as you’d expect.

At work, we have lots of XML data. So in a directory with 2000 XML files, i wanted to find the few files with some common content. But it appears that Vista only indexes the character data, not the XML markup, in the files. That means you can’t search on elements, attribute names, or even attribute values like priority="critical": even if you search in file contents for “critical”, Vista won’t find it. If you manually change the file type to something like txt, now that content becomes searchable (but of course i’m not about to do that for 2000 files). So Vista gets points for trying to be smart, but it’s not smart enough. Ironically, better support for XML (at least as an application format) is supposed to be one of the improvements of Vista.
I can already hear people telling me it’s a feature …