Did a quick hit about this in my blogmark feed this morning, but now I think it deserves a bit more room. As you’ve no doubt heard Google launched a new desktop search tool. In the past, I’ve tried a few (Copernic, more recently Blinkx, for example) and been unimpressed. They’ve either been clunky or resources hogs — rendering my aging home computer almost useless. Google Desktop Search looks different; the app isn’t always running and the index is more efficient (even if it covers less files than some right now); Danny Sullivan is already raving about it in Search Engine Watch.
Index efficiency aside, the killer feature is its smart integration with Google’s main Web site. Install it and a new tab appears at the Google homepage that lets you search your computer seemingly from their Web site. (You don’t — the index is stored on your computer alone.) Then, when searching the Web, Google can also show the results of the a desktop search on the same page. Combine this with GMail and you could, also
- search for an email,
- see the email displayed on the Google Desktop Search Page,
- and reply to the email via GMail.
The whole thing becomes a self-supporting system. For more on this idea, John Battelle outlines five reasons explaining what this could all mean.
The tool is Microsoft-specific right now. Not only is that a smart choice given the most widely-used software programs on the planet are from Microsoft It also fires a shot across the bow of the Redmond-based computer giant. AOL has heard that shot and is leaking information about its own desktop search (powered by someone other than Google), which may be tied with an AOL-branded browser. The latter is rumoured to be using Internet Explorer for its backend; might the former be using a Microsoft service, too?
By the way, support for Mozilla Foundation products in the Google Desktop Search shouldn’t be too far behind. The delay may explain the Google-related Mozilla bugs (if so, a Gecko-based GBrowser may be just a dream).