Is Desktop Search Deserving?

By: Jakob Jelling

Google, in their march to stay ahead of the pack of competition, has released Google Desktop Search. With Microsoft's MSN in the lead position and nipping at Google's heels, and Google's new shareholders to please, Google has more incentive than ever to deploy technology both better than the other guy's, and sooner. After all, the first to get loaded to the desktop is more likely to build and retain user loyalty.

Google Desktop Search allows you to search within various types of files on your computer. It's still in beta, but is available for download by anyone. It requires Windows XP or Windows 2000 with at least Service Pack 3.

It runs as a memory-resident application, with a system tray icon, so that it can index new documents as they are created.

For example, if you know a certain word or phrase was in a Word document, but you don't remember which one, you can easily locate all documents on your computer that contain that word. Desktop Search can search through email, text, and HTML files, your cached web pages, and MS Office Documents (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint only).

By way of comparison, there is a competing application, also free, from Copernic, not surprisingly called Copernic Desktop Search. At the moment, it is perhaps more advanced than Google's. For example, Copernic's software scans the same type of files as does Google's, but also scans music and video files and PDF documents, while Google does not. Both products can only scan Outlook or Outlook Express email at present.

But don't count Google out. Webmasters know it's never wise to do that! After all, they're still in beta with Desktop Search, and they are as surely aware of Copernic's product as they are of MSN. Google has both the resources and motivation to not only keep but expand their market leadership.

By Jakob Jelling


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