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Google Launches Desktop Search Utility

Chris Richardson
Staff Writer
Published: 2004-10-14

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With desktop search being one of the remaining frontiers for the search engine industry, there is competition to see who can develop an effective means of searching contents on a computer. Recently, a few software packages have upped the ante considerably. Copernic, Blinkx, and the announcement of Mac's Spotlight are a few of the better-developed solutions.

Today, October 14, 2004, marks the release of another offering that will again turn desktop search into a hot topic. In case you might not have heard, Google has now released their own desktop search utility. Google's (creatively named) Google Desktop Search has entered beta stage testing. According to the GDS FAQ, the utility will allow users to:

-Search email from Outlook 2000+ and Outlook Express 5+

-Search files in TXT, HTML, DOC, XLS, and PPT formats (Office 2000+)

-Search chats from AOL 7+ and AOL Instant Messenger 5+

-Search web pages viewed in Internet Explorer 5+

To accomplish this, Google indexes files on your computer while it's inactive. The utility can be used immediately upon installation; however, your search results won't be comprehensive. In order to conduct a search, users will click the GDS icon that resides in the toolbar tray. Once this is done, a window opens, providing a search interface that's similar to the Google search interface. You enter a query and get a familiar results page designed in the Google SERP format.

The utility is a small download, weighing in at only 400k. According to their press release, GDS is "currently available for Windows XP and Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 and above. It requires a minimum of 128MB of RAM, and a 400MHz (or faster) Pentium processor is recommended." Sorry Mac users, but with Spotlight coming up, that shouldn't be too much of an issue.

According to Andy Beal, while GDS searches Outlook, it does not search Gmail. The reason for this is because "Gmail utilizes javascript which Google Desktop is unable, at this time, to spider." GDS will also integrate web search into the desktop searching ability. When you select web search, at the top of the SERP, Google informs users how many files were found on their computers as well as the usual web results.

Download Google Desktop Search here.

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About the Author:
Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.

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