Calling Google Desktop A Disappointment Is Premature

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Dave Winer points to a blog posting by Erik Speckman calling Google Desktop Search a disappointment. One complaint that Dave shares is that Google search only works with certain file formats. He wants to be able to add plug-ins for file formats it doesn’t already understand.

Well first of all, this is a BETA technology. I think it’s a tad bit premature to call it a disappointment just yet. It’s already far better than any other free desktop search utility out there.

Secondly, it may well be as extensible as Dave and Erik would like, but as a BETA product, we can’t be sure yet because such interfaces are not published. Scott Hanselman started digging into it a bit and noticed various dlls used to implement searching across IE and Outlook. That suggests that there might be a plug-in architecture they will expose later (perhaps after getting feedback during the BETA trial). In any case, Scott’s peek inside is a worthwhile read.

UPDATE: Erik notes in reply on his blog that I have a valid point regarding Google Desktop’s BETA status, but that the point of a BETA is to gather criticism. I agree wholeheartedly and I think he gives some solid suggestions to the Google team. The title of his reply is “Google Desktop Search BETA is a disappointment” (emphasis mine). That clears it up for me. :)

If you’re a Windows, Office, and Outlook user like me, I think you’ll find the BETA worthwhile. If not, Google has some work to do to make sure the final product isn’t a disappointment for users like Erik and Dave. Hopefully we’ll see an extensibility framework come out for it.

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6 responses

  1. Avatar for GeekFun
    GeekFun October 14th, 2004

    After Dave Winer linked to my post about how the new beta of Google's desktop search lacks support for indexing non-microsoft e-mail and browser history someone criticised my rush to judgement. It's a fair-point that this is a beta, but...

  2. Avatar for Fred
    Fred October 14th, 2004

    Take this post as a trackback. There are some of my toughs about the product, privacy and security in mind:

  3. Avatar for Koba
    Koba October 15th, 2004

    If it doesn't read my personal email and files, I don't want it.

  4. Avatar for Fred
    Fred October 16th, 2004


    Okay, there is the part 2 of my thoughts about the subject. It talk about the logging problem with AIM chat software. I think that it's always a good thing to know:

  5. Avatar for Jason's Life
    Jason's Life October 19th, 2004

    It is an application that brings the searching power of Google to your local machine.... The download is very small, so even people on dial-up can use it.

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