Search and Internet Community monsters Microsoft, Yahoo and EarthLink are all looking into growing their online search engine business by providing access to their search solutions via “taskbars” that would be displyed on the PC screen, and not in the browser- like current popular Internet toolbars.
Taskbar search tools are similar to popular toolbar software (such as Google toolbar, Yahoo’s Companion, or UCmore) except for one main difference: they reside in the system tray in Microsoft’s Windows operating system, allowing queries independently of the browser or any other applications running on the desktop.
Not only will these companies be competing for Internet browser and online space, but they are all looking to stake their claim on the user’s PC and non-Internet computer software.
This new trend could be in response to a recent study that proved that 76% of web users access the Internet by means other than launching their web browsers. According to research firm Nielsen/NetRatings’s study, browsers are still the most popular form of accessing the internet, but the majority of users still use other software to do so, including media players such as Real Player and instant messaging programs.
Google may have hit Internet users at the best time by jumping the gun and introducing the Google deskbar last November. Google’s deskbar lets users search the Google search engine directly from their Desktop, bypassing browsers.
The downloadable software for users of Microsoft’s Windows operating system puts a Google search box in the desktop taskbar.
Using the free tool, people can search for information on the Web while in a Word document or e-mail application. But instead of launching a browser, the Deskbar will display results in a small window in the lower right of the screen.
“The Google Deskbar is a search utility for the PC so that people can search Google in a faster and new way,” said John Piscitello, product manager for Google Deskbar and the Google Toolbar. “It works from any application at any time on Windows.”