Desktop search

Google search

Last Thursday Google launched Google Desktop Search.

This was a very good news: I was desperate for such a tool, as the number of files and folders on my PC become unmanageable, and as Windows integrated search is sub-standard (to say the least).

Interestingly enough I had by then installed and tested blinkx and Copernic search, and had a mix feeling about the experience in both cases.

To keep it short: both of them are now uninstalled from my machine.

After testing GDS over the week-end, I must say that blinkx is a far better software: it was able to find more matches for my searches, and has much more options. But overall I found it too complex, with options I do not need. A good example would be the blinkx toolbar inserted on every windows to search for highlighted text. Impossible to remove it as well, it appears to be there as a must have feature rather than as an option. At the other end, I found Google Desktop Search non intrusive in my way of working, which is appreciated, and they kept it simple as per the standard Google. This does not appear to be everybody opinion.

It must be noted that Google Desktop Search is limited to:

  • Email within Outlook or Outlook Express (notes, contacts, journal and to do list items are not included, nor are emails in the Deleted Items folder)
  • Microsoft Word, Excel & PowerPoint files
  • AOL Instant Messenger chats
  • Web pages viewed online in Internet Explorer or any HTML file saved to your computer
  • Plain text files

I hope that further types will be added soon - such as PDF (how could they pass this one ???), mp3 and video based on tags. Need compatibility with firefox, otherwise web page caching is useless to me.
Another wish would be to be able to increase the number of results - 10 on the first page is not enough. And a last one would be to find some way around privacy concerns that are already debated at length.

See as well a post from an MSFT employee on the fact that Google is leading the way…

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