Google Desktop uses the power of Google’s search capabilities, developed for online searches, but instead of searching the web, you search the files stored on your own computer.
Windows already provides you with built-in capabilities to search for files and folders, scanning your PC, but the functionality of this feature is basic, and the time of search is significant. Google Desktop is lightening fast, and allows you to display the search results in order of either date or relevancy.
Google Desktop can index several different types of data, including email, web browsing history from Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, office documents in the Open Document and Microsoft Office formats, instant messenger transcripts from AOL, Google, MSN, Skype, Tencent QQ, and several multimedia file types. Additional file types can be indexed through the use of plug-ins. Google Desktop allows the user to control which types of data are indexed by the program.
After you install the application, Google Desktop starts indexing the email, files and web history stored on your computer. This one-time indexing occurs only when your computer is idle for more than 30 seconds, so it shouldn’t slow down your machine’s performance, but depending on the number of items, this process can take a total of several hours. Desktop also makes sure your index stays up to date by adding new email as you receive it, files as you update them and web pages as you view them.
A prominent feature of Google Desktop is the Sidebar, which holds several common Gadgets and resides off to one side of the desktop. The Sidebar is available with the Microsoft Windows version of Google Desktop only. The Sidebar comes pre-installed with the following gadgets:
- Email - a panel which lets one view one’s Gmail messages.
- Scratch Pad - here one can store random notes; they are saved automatically
- Photos - displays a slideshow of photos from the "My Pictures" folder (address can be changed)
- News - shows the latest headlines from Google News, and how long ago they were written. The News panel is personalized depending on the type of news you read.
- Weather - shows the current weather for a location specified by the user.
- Web Clips - shows recent posts from RSS news feeds.
- Google Talk - If Google Talk is installed, double clicking the window title will dock it to one’s sidebar.
Another feature that comes with the Sidebar is alerts. When the Sidebar is minimized, new e-mail and news can be displayed on a pop-up window above the Windows Taskbar.
While there are several alternatives on the market for the desktop searching, no utility can beat the Google Desktop, so this software is highly recommended for all users.
Developers Web Site: http://desktop.google.com/