Google Desktop Search – Live and Enhanced
Google Desktop Search is now out of beta testing phase and ready for full scale promotions as a whole product offering which now includes some extra features. Google Desktop is a speedy application which searches desktop documents, web browser history, and chat room conversations (in AOL’s AIM) along with email and other common program files. The newest update of Google Desktop can now also search the text of PDF files and detailed metadata information of multimedia files.
Amazingly enough, Google Desktop Search is set up like the Google homepage, except it searches an index which is kept on your machine and not web based. Google Desktop Search offerings include a chat search where Google allows you to search your past AOL Instant Message (AIM) conversations through some kind of partnership with AOL ( a current Google partner) but has not been able to index Yahoo and other Instant Messaging history. Google can also track your email conversations in a fashion similar to GMail “If an email search result is part of a longer thread or conversation, you have access to all the emails in the conversation, without having to sort through your email inbox.”
Nikhil Bhatla, Google product manager says, “We’ve taken the product out of beta because now we have all the file types and features that were high on the list of user requests.” Sushubh Mittal of the Search Engine Journal and TechWhack adds “What I liked about Google Desktop Search is the ability to be able to search my hard disk using the very popular Google Search interface. It also let me quickly look at the content of a file using the cache feature. And I can chose to hide folders or files from its crawlers if I want to. It is fast and it can only get better.”
The Search Engine Journal’s Sushubh Mittal reviewed Google Desktop Search when it was first released. “The application comes as a 450 KB download file and installs locally on the system. It places a system tray icon, which runs consecutively in the background indexing files on the system. The background-running crawlers monitor the files and internet/chat sessions and keep the index up-to-date by indexing the system when the system is not busy. The processes were eating up quiet some system memory on my personal test system at around 15 megs, but then with the current processing powers and system memory… Most users out there will not find it to be much. Google itself recommend at least 128 MB RAM and a 400 MHz+ system processor. So, if you have a decent computer, running Google Desktop background client won’t tax your system much. Most of the crawling is done when the system is idle.”
I have seen and checked out some other desktop search applications before, Google’s Desktop Search is quite different. It merges with the Google interface itself and let you search your system as you search the internet from Google. The similar interface would make it convenient for all kind of users to start with it. Google also let you get the results from Desktop Searches when you do a web search. If the search query finds a relevant document on the local system, it is shown at the top just like results from Google news.