Google Inc. has announced the formal launch of Google Desktop Search, their free downloadable application which enables users to search for information stored on their own computers. Previously in beta, the 1.0 release adds search over the full text of PDFs and the meta-information stored with music, image and video files. Additional enhancements include support for the Firefox and Netscape browsers, Thunderbird and Netscape email clients and new Chinese and Korean language interfaces.
"Google Desktop Search brings the power of Google search to information on the computer hard drive," said Jonathan Rosenberg, vice president of Product Management at Google. "It's like having a photographic memory of everything you've seen with your computer, right at your fingertips. We're proud to take Google Desktop Search out of beta, and we will continue to extend the utility of desktop search for users worldwide."
In addition to searching a wide range of computer files and email, the Google tool accesses the full text of web page history and AOL instant messages. Google Desktop Search can also be used to recover accidentally deleted or misplaced information. For instance, a user who unintentionally deletes a Word document or PowerPoint presentation can use the tool to find the text stored in Google Desktop Search. All results are accompanied by cached snapshots of each web page and document so users can access information even if they're not connected to the web or if a document has been deleted.
Google Desktop Search will also provide application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable software developers to create new applications using the desktop search product. Plug-ins developed with these APIs will be made available for download at http://desktop.google.com/plugins, enabling users to search new content types.
The software is currently available for Windows XP and Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 and above. It requires 500MB of disk space, a minimum of 128MB of RAM, and a 400MHz (or faster) Pentium processor is recommended.