Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Google Desktop Search

Reuben mentioned Google Desktop Search when it came out in Beta. Google Desktop Search is now out of Beta. The security concerns raised at the time of Beta's launch have been addressed - password-protected documents and other secure content on the computer are not indexed. Also, users can disallow indexing of content from secure web-sites. GDS comes with an SDK for developers to extend support, and has been released on Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
Google has heavy competition in the consumer desktop arena. Not only have its top rivals, Yahoo and Microsoft's MSN, introduced similar tools recently, but a litany of upstarts have emerged to compete for Web surfers' attention. Some are even having success; Blinkx said Friday that its desktop-search tool is now fielding 100 million searches daily.
All the search companies are hoping to lock in new visitors with desktop applications because they believe it will help them drive more Web searches--and hence more advertising sales. Search-related advertising is expected to be worth between $4 billion and $5 billion this year.
Microsoft should be able to achieve tighter integration as they own the platform and the APIs, greater flexibility as they can probably better index Office and other file types, and perhaps also faster searching, since their search and file system components can integrate better. Desktop search is still anybody's game.

In other developments, it was pleasing to see Google's new weather service. You can now type the keyword "weather" followed by city and state information (or zip code) to get weather and weather-related search information on the area. When will Google integrate their weather, news and other services into a, um...., portal?

[Cross-posted on Zoo Station]