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Google Desktop Search?

With all the buzz about a possible Google browser, Google has quietly developed Google Desktop Search.

What is Google Desktop Search?

Google Desktop Search is a program that runs on your Windows computer. It allows you to search your hard disk for files. Google describes it as follows:

"Google Desktop Search is [...] a desktop search application that provides full text search over your email, computer files, chats, and the web pages you've viewed. By making your computer searchable, Google Desktop Search puts your information easily within your reach and frees you from having to manually organize your files, emails, and bookmarks."

Google Desktop Search is a beta program. This means that Google is still working on the final version.

Limitations of Google Desktop Search

The current version of Google Desktop Search offers limited application and format support. It searches for emails from MS Outlook and Outlook Express, chat sessions from AOL Instant Messenger, browsed web pages, text files and MS Office files.

Google Desktop Search also requires a newer MS Windows operating system. You must have at least Windows 2000 or above. Google Desktop Search will only install if you have 1 GB free hard disk space on your primary hard disk.

Privacy concerns

There are some concerns that your private data may be not secure if you're not careful.

For example, people could read your close chat discussions, they could read your email messages and they could take a look at the web pages you visited. More information can be found in the Articles of the week section below.

Should you install Google Desktop Search on your computer?

If you have a hard time to find files on your computer, you might want to give Google Desktop Search a try. However, you should make sure that no other person has access to your computer because of the privacy issues.

Details about Google Desktop Search can be found on this page. A comparison of six desktop search tools can be found here.

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October 2004 search engine articles