This past Monday, Google rolled out a new beta version of its widely acknowledge desktop search software, offering features such as integration with Outlook, a sidebar with nifty widgets to display photos, headlines and much more. After taking a few moments to actually sit and play around with the product, I would have to say that Google has definitely out-done its rival Microsoft in the desktop search battle.
The Google software contains three major components:
This is an embedded toolbar and allows users to search through their email without actually leaving Outlook.
This is a window page that is designed to automatically update itself based on users' interests, as expressed by the Web sites they visit, with little or no manual configuration. Among its many windows, Sidebar offers the scratch pad tool, weather data, news, RSS and Atom feeds from the Web, links to open browser windows and an e-mail preview.
A search feature which is designed to let users search the web, search and find files on their hard drives, and even launch applications.
One customizable option that I found most enjoyable is users can choose where to display their Deskbar. Users can either opt for a compact view, where the Deskbar sits in the Window's taskbar, or they can choose a "Floating Deskbar" option which will allow the tool to be dragged anywhere on the desktop. This is a feature that I believe all users can appreciate.
Overall, the Google Desktop Search feature is a new and easy way for users to find their desired information. I believe this product is an instant competitor with that of Microsoft's Desktop search tool, and allows Google to continue competing at the highest level.