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Thoughts on Google Desktop Search

Google finally put out their Desktop Search application yesterday, and it looks very useful. Anyone who’s ever used Microsoft’s method of indexing to search their own machine, and those of us who have been unfortunate enough to try and develop around it, have long wished for a fast, stable alternative. But the Google solution will not be useful here because:

I abandoned Outlook in favour of Mozilla Mail and then Thunderbird over two years ago, on grounds of stability and platform dependancy;
the Office suite was phased out in favour of OpenOffice, for the same reasons;
I’ve never used the AIM client, and I’ve only had a screenname for that protocol since dropping ICQ for Trillian;
I’ve taken every effort to cripple IE on my machines (you can’t even get out past my firewall with it) because I don’t want to take the risk. Additionally, I need a browser that is cross-platform and stable, and have been very happy with Firefox for a good long time.

I’m sure the Google Desktop will be very useful for a large number of people, and I only hope that its popularity will lead them to develop compatibility with applications other than the market leaders—there’s nothing technically prohibitive involved.

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