Google Finally Releases Desktop Search

from the holding-that-back? dept

After months of speculation, it looks like Google has finally released a desktop search tool. However, unlike traditional desktop search tools, this one comes at it from a “what have you seen,” instead of “what have you stored” view. In other words, it searches stuff on your machine, but also websites you’ve viewed. This is, of course, much more useful than most desktop search offerings. It also looks like they’ve set it up to easily integrate your overall web searches with your “what have you seen” desktop searches — which sounds compelling. They’ve realized that it makes sense not to force users to change very much, but to fit in another useful feature into what they’re already doing. Now, the question is how others will respond. The rumors out of Redmond were that Microsoft has realized they can’t wait for Longhorn to have a desktop search offering and have been working feverishly to get that going for an early release. Looks like the search world is still interesting after all.

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Comments on “Google Finally Releases Desktop Search”

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Gumby says:

Re: Not very capable - NOT!

I installed it this afternoon. I’m a software developer with ~20K emails and thousands of source files on my machine. Desktop google is already proving to be a far better way to find information than pretty most of my native applications! Email – instant win. Searchs through 100’s of megabytes of source code for functions or variables- instantly. Searches through my email for bug reports much easier than using the bug tracking system to lookup bugs. I can’t wait until tomorrow !

slim says:

Microsoft is, ahem, ahead in this area

I use “Lookout” (get it, Outlook, Lookout … heh). The company was recently lured to the dark side up by the emperor.

Lookout integrates with Outlook to full-text index email. It also indexes filenames on your hard drive, and … TADA, any mapped drives you have (although this part is not indexed to the contents of files).

The Google Desktop is currently (sad to say) a toy. Who keeps files on their C: drive? Not me bub, at home or at work. I’ve uninstalled GD for now. When they come out with something that isn’t hobbled, maybe I’ll give it another look.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Microsoft is, ahem, ahead in this area

you are not in the mainstream on this. not by far. every client I’ve had, and all friends keep everything on c drive. they only have one drive. and “losing” material because they “saved it to a weird spot” is, sadly, quite common even for these (reasonably) experienced users. so GD would be a god send for them

me, I still don’t trust the privacy implications – how long before someone hacks the google index on my desktop through a trojan or something, and then its nothing for them to find all my password files, etc.

thecaptain says:

Re: Re: Microsoft is, ahem, ahead in this area

depends on the situation.

In an office situation (where a google search would be the MOST useful) MOST employees keep documents on network drives (shared or not) where they are regularily backed up and so on.

My situation is the same, the files I want to search through are the 70 megs of TEXT notes we have built up on all our projects, issues, solutions over the last 2-3 years. We collaborate and we all save our stuff on our dept share to keep our notes accessible by all.

GD WOULD have been the PERFECT solution for us, but since it can’t search that share, its pretty useless.

anonymous says:

Re: Microsoft is, ahem, ahead in this area

There is a trick that will cause google desktop search to index at least one mapped drive.

Right-click on ‘My Documents’, choose ‘Properties…’, and set the target drive to whichever mapped drive you wish to be indexed. Apparently, GD indexes ‘My Documents’ without caring if it is linked to a networked/mapped drive. I found this out by accident, as I have ‘My Documents’ pointed to my network home directory.

Of course, this will assume you are okay with changing the ‘My Documents’ target. Yeah, it’s a hack, but it works.

Jesper Ib says:

It works

Just had a test-drive of it, and I like it a lot. When doing a plain search from the Google toolbar, the desktop tool simply merges the web results with the hits from your local HD. As you would expect, it is lightning fast.
Still beta though, and I think they probably released it a bit too early. It won’t do wildcard searches, and it can’t do a .pdf. Don’t look for “advanced search” options – there isn’t any! As with Gmail though, I think we can expect all that to be gradually added during the next months or even weeks. It’s smart and lean.

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