May 5, 2009
Ok, Microsoft has sunk to a new low with IE8's built-in spam on the URL bar exhorting you to "Download Windows Search to improve history and favorites results".
If you click on this link, it takes you to a page where they tell you that you have two choices if you wish to get rid of this annoyance: either install their crappy Windows Search program or enable their crappy Windows Search program (if it is already installed but disabled).
That's it. You will use their crappy program whether you like it or not. Sorry, Bill -- not gonna happen.
There is a hack that works as of this writing: You can add a registry entry that tricks IE8 into thinking that Windows Search is installed.
Close all instances of IE8.
Just to be safe, use the System Restore utility to create a restore point (always do this before manually tweaking the registry).
Start Menu -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> System Restore
Execute the following at a command prompt (you must be running with administrative privileges):
REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search" /v CurrentVersion /t REG_SZ /d 99 /f
Launch IE8 and verify that it is gone.