Google Takes “Desktop” Out of Beta

According to Google’s Official Blog, Google Desktop 2.0 has come out of beta testing and includes a few more enhanced features than it’s predecessor including new panels for its’ popular sidebar as well as plug-in scripting support such as JavaScript and VBScript.  One feature the folks at Google seem to be touting is its’ new mapping panel for the Sidebar “which lets you do all the usual cool maps stuff — local business info,
directions, sightseeing — plus a new one: finding new locations
relevant to the web pages and emails you’re reading and showing them in
your maps panel.”  I haven’t experimented with it yet but I think it will wind up being something I will soon hate to be without.

Now, personally, I’m torn on which desktop search application to use on my machines.  I enjoy the fact that Google has brought desktop search to light thus having many of the biggest tech giants (including Apple, Microsoft, and Yahoo!) following in its’ footsteps…each bringing its’ own quality product with them.

However, I don’t think Google Desktop cuts it yet for business use – mainly for speed and compatibility.  I feel as though, based on my own tests, that MSN Desktop Search is faster – the deskbar and the find-as-you-type method by which it delivers results is positively instantaneous the majority of the time.  The same cannot be said for Google Desktop.  Both Google’s deskbar and the web interface seem to deliver results fast but not as fast as MSN’s.  Is this just me?  Has anyone else noticed this?  I’m going to be honest and say that I truly do loathe giving props to Microsoft in any shape, form, or fashion but I think I have to – at least in terms of business use.  One big winner for me is MSN’s ability to index, without use of additional plug-ins, archived e-mails within Outlook as well as Outlook’s other folders is, hands-down, a big plus for the business user. 

I’ve mentioned business use for these products a couple of times so let me elaborate on that just a bit.  I do two different types of work: I.T. at a small, non-profit organization and then I do Web and graphic design for my own little company in my spare time.  When it comes to my own company there’s no way I’d be able to use MSN Desktop Search because it’s just not compatible enough.  The amount of plug-ins available for Google Desktop far outweigh the amount available for Microsoft’s product…mainly due to Google’s total acceptance of plug-ins presented to them.  Therefore, I can pretty much search everything from the most obscure, hidden file on my computer to entries in my Thunderbird inbox and have the results delivered to me in a tab of my already-open Firefox window.  That’s a big plus.

What do you think?

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4 Responses to “Google Takes “Desktop” Out of Beta”

  1. envelope Says:

    Have a look at Yahoo’s desktop search. It’s based on X1 search, and is pretty amazingly powerful. It’s quite heavyweight, but the power of its searches is second to none I’ve seen.

  2. something Says:

    How does Yahoo!/X1 work with Outlook’s tasks and archived messages, I wonder?

  3. Fans of Tech » Windows Desktop Search Rids Itself of the MSN Toolbar…finally. Says:

    […] Well, Windows Desktop Search has finally come out of the MSN shadow.  For months, you’ve been able to download a beta of the new search application from Microsoft but only if you downloaded the MSN Toolbar.  While WDS is a fantastic product (I don’t use that word lightly, either) I absolutely hated the fact that I had to attach that God-forsaken toolbar to my computer just to get a decent, yet thorough, Outlook/Windows search on my PC. […]

  4. Fans of Tech » Windows Desktop Search 3.0 Engine Preview Says:

    […] Microsoft has released a preview of the engine behind the upcoming Windows Desktop Search 3.0.  However, the update is intended for users of Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and Microsoft OneNote 2007.  Existing users of Windows Desktop Search 2.0 should not upgrade unless you are using these applications.  Still, it shouldn’t be too long before a beta for normal WDS users is released.  Personally, I hope they’ll be adding more interactive options for the quick preview search window performed from the taskbar.  An improvement in speed when it comes to search results couldn’t hurt either but WDS is still (approximately) one billion times faster than the search tool built into Windows.  (Shudder.)  WDS also continues to, in my opinion, provide better Windows/Office integration than even the latest desktop search offering from Google. […]


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