Google Inc. has announced a beta desktop search application, Google Desktop Search, that is designed to enable users to search their email, files, Web history, and chats. Google Desktop Search is a lightweight, free, downloadable application that brings Google search to information on the computer and operates locally on the user's computer.
Users can search across their email and a range of files and information such as email in Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express; files in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and text; Web site history in Internet Explorer; and instant message chats in AOL Instant Messenger. Google Desktop Search is built with the same technology as Google.com, so it is designed to quickly search a hard drive. Google Desktop Search enables users to search both their computer and the Web simultaneously. When users search through Google.com (either from the homepage or the Google Toolbar), Google Desktop Search runs the same search in parallel on the user's computer. If Google Desktop Search finds relevant results, those results are added to the Google.com search results page. This means, users don't need to decide before they search whether to search the Web or their computer. When a user chooses to search simultaneously across his or her computer and Google.com, the computer's content is not made accessible to Google, or to anyone else, without the user's express permission. Users can select what information they want to have searched, and remove information whenever they want.
Google Desktop Search is available at http://desktop.google.com. It is currently available for Windows XP and Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 and above. It requires a minimum of 128MB of RAM, and a 400MHz (or faster) Pentium processor is recommended. Google Desktop Search is available in English today and there are plans to make it available in other languages.
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