Google Desktop

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:47 am by Toby

Today while listening to another chat with the Gillmor gang on the excellent itConversations, about the Google Desktop application, I went and downloaded it.

So far I think its great. There is a certain amount of controversy from the privacy weirdo’s about whether or not it is a good thing for google to be able to get information about what, how often and how long you look for specific things on your own machine. But boy is it fast, its google on your desktop (Doh!!).

But the reason I’m writing this is because of something that was said in the gillmor gang conversation. Part of the discussion was about why microsoft hadnt done something like this, and various options were gone through – privacy, problem with removing the dominance of the office product. But in my opinion the main reason is because Microsoft just dont get search.

In the early days of dos, we had the “dir *.doc” command, that would show you all the doc files in a certain directory. It was very fast. With a few extra / you could refine or increase the number of files returned. Yes you needed specialist knowledge from the dos world, and it was superceeded by the open or save dialog box, but it was still fast.

In Office 97 (possibly 95) if I remember correctly Microsoft introducted their first attempt at indexing and searching, and the only thing I remember about it, is that it made the open dialog box really, really slow. And to my knowledge that has been the trend every time that microsoft have tried to create some kind of search engine built into windows or office. The search function in Windows XP is a bit of an improvement, but is still fairly slow considering that its supposed to be indexed. Maybe it uses Jet!

I am looking forward to being able to search my machine in a simple and quick way using Google Desktop, and I think as with many things microsoft have noone to blam but themselves for not being the defacto standard for search.

ps. Lets hope they dont buy google.

Leave a Comment