Google Inc. has announced the formal launch of Google Desktop Search, a free downloadable application that is designed to enable users to search for information on their own computers. Previously in beta, the 1.0 release adds search over the full text of PDFs and the meta-information stored with music, image, and video files. Additional enhancements include support for the Firefox and Netscape browsers, Thunderbird and Netscape email clients, and new Chinese and Korean language interfaces.
In addition to searching a range of computer files and email, Google's desktop search tool accesses the full text of Web page history and searches AOL instant messages. Google Desktop Search can also be used to recover accidentally deleted or misplaced information. All results are accompanied by cached snapshots of each Web page and document so users can access information even if they're not connected to the Web or if a document has been deleted.
Google Desktop Search will also provide application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable software developers to create new applications using the desktop search product. Plug-ins developed with these APIs will be made available for download at http://desktop.google.com/plugins
, enabling users to search new content types such as Trillian chats and the full-text of scanned images, such as faxes. Additional enhancements to Google Desktop 1.0 include a free-standing search box that users can place anywhere on their desktop. In addition to enabling users to block HTTPS Web pages, Google Desktop Search now also excludes all password-protected documents from Microsoft Word and Excel. 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 500MB of disk space, a minimum of 128MB of RAM, and a 400MHz (or faster) Pentium processor is recommended.