Google Announces Desktop Search

Called Google Desktop Search, this new application makes it possible for users to find information on their computers as fast and easily as they can search the web with Google.

“Google Desktop Search brings the power of Google to your personal information on your own computer. As easily as searching Google, you can instantly search your files, local email, the web pages you have seen, and more,” said Larry Page, Google’s co-founder and president of products. “It’s free, installs quickly, and keeps completely up to date. Google Desktop Search represents a quantum leap in access to your own information.”

Google Desktop Search is a lightweight, free, downloadable application that brings Google search to information on your computer. The application operates locally on the user’s computer, where it provides the following capabilities:

— Find email, files and more. Users can search across their email and a wide range of files and information such as email in Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express; files in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and text; website history in Internet Explorer; and instant message chats in AOL Instant Messenger.

— Searches fast like Google. Google.com can search billions of web pages in a fraction of a second. Google Desktop Search is built with the same technology, and it can search a single hard drive in even less time.

— Easy access to desktop results via Google.com Search. 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. From a single start point, they get both.

— Fresh, dynamic results. Unlike traditional computer search software that updates once a day, Google Desktop Search updates continuously for most file types. When a user downloads a new email in Outlook, for example, it can be found within seconds using Google Desktop Search.

As with all Google products, Google Desktop Search is designed from the ground up to respect user privacy. 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 easily 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.