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Interest In Better Desktop Search Swells

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-11-03

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Interest in a better and integrated desktop search product is swelling, and it may add a new dimension to the features that end-users demand. According to IDC, software vendors must decide whether desktop search should be a standalone product or a necessary feature.

"Information finding clearly has become one of the central activities of the online life," said Susan Feldman, research VP for Content Management and Retrieval Solutions. "With major software vendors beginning to pay attention to the expanded role that search has assumed, this market is only beginning to see the changes that the next five years will bring."

MSN's recent acquisition of Lookout Software, Google's much-heralded new desktop search, Apple's announcement of search in Tiger, and Microsoft's intention to eventually embed search in all its desktop and operating system software all point to this market heating up. IDC believes that email search in particular not only generates a new source of advertising revenue, but can also position vendors for the next fight to dominate the desktop.

Despite the surge, questions regarding the privacy of desktop data remain. If the desktop product integrates Web search with searching the hard drive and generates revenue based on the searches performed, then IDC questions if it is conceivable for the Web search engine to track the contents of the hard drive.

IDC's new report, Jousting for the Desktop Search Market: Why Search Vendors Should Enter the Lists (IDC #32057), gives an overview of the issues surrounding desktop search. It discusses whether standalone desktop search is a viable market and why vendors may want to consider developing such a product.

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