February 8, 2006 9:00 PM PST

Google updates desktop search tools

Google is adding new features to its Desktop search program, including further customization of the Sidebar and the ability to send information directly to a friend's desktop, search on multiple computers at once and lock the search function with a password.

The new features are expected to be released Thursday for Google Desktop, a free downloadable program that lets users search for files on their hard drive using keywords and to launch applications. The accompanying Sidebar is a floating tool palette that offers personalized news, RSS feeds, weather, stock quotes and other information based on a user's preferences. It also displays scrolling lists of the most recent e-mail and offers a scratch pad and to-do list.

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Video: Google's new desktop search
CNET News.com's Elinor Mills describes the new features of Google Desktop 3.

With the new beta version of Google Desktop 3 users can drag Sidebar modules to any location on the screen they want. Users also can e-mail news links, notes and other information to others or send them through Gmail Chat or directly to their Sidebar using Google Talk. Google Desktop search can now be locked with a Windows password to prevent others from searching for files.

People who regularly use several computers can now use Google Desktop to search for items stored on multiple computers simultaneously, even when they are not connected to the Internet. Once the Search Across Computers function is enabled, text copies of documents and Web history are automatically transferred to the other computer that has Google Desktop installed, said Sundar Pichai, director of product management at Google. When the user searches on one computer for information, the second computer is automatically searched.

Google will delete any copies of the files from its servers within 30 days and encrypts the data, he said. Google automatically excludes from being transferred any password-protected files and secure Web pages, and users can exclude any folders or files, he added.

Other new features include advanced search forms, spelling suggestions for queries, the ability to disable indexing, the addition of zip file indexing and an improved preferences page.

Google Desktop is available only in English now but will be released in 16 languages by the end of March, Pichai said.

New MSN Search Toolbar with Windows Desktop Search last May and is planning to include its Sidebar product in the next version of its operating system, called Windows Vista. Yahoo Widgets is based on the Konfabulator program that Yahoo acquired last year. And Apple Computer offers Dashboard for the Mac OS.

See more CNET content tagged:
Google Desktop, desktop search, Google Inc., password, Yahoo! Inc.

22 comments

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Who cares!
Please stop it with this Propaganda about Google!
They have a web site and they can report to people that they have added a feature to their Tool bar.
Tell us some real news about the world of search.
Like who is doing new things?
What are the problems with Google, etc. to improve on?
Stop it with this daily Propaganda about Google adding next to nothing to software that very few care about.
I mean who for goodness sake uses a stupid tool bar anyway. That is why we have a web browser.
Posted by 207495111267145837975635436522 (58 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Agree, sort of...
I do think it is within the scope of CNet's tech news to report on updated software, such as the Google Toolbar. But I agree with Sandra that Google gets a lot of free, favorable coverage, enduring as something of a darling of the tech press, including CNet.

The willingness of Google to bend to the demands of the Chinese government in filtering its search results should be enough strip Google of its cherubic halo. Google should be covered like any other tech entity with a product, its darling status discarded like the words "liberty" and "democracy" in its Chinese search results.
Posted by Techno Guy (77 comments )
Link Flag
Get a clue fool.
You're getting really annoying with your complete ignorance regarding tech reporting. Every ******* tech news (as well as non-tech ones) organziation has reported on this. The AP, Reuters, PC World, PC Magazine, AFP, CNN, MSNBC, are just a few of them.

Eveytime Cnet does a story regarding either Microsoft or Google or Yahoo! some ignorant wannabe such as yourself comes here and spouts off utter nonsense. If you're going to *****, at least get the product right...it's their desktop search program...not a toolbar, fool.

One more thing, look the word "propaganda" and learn how to use it correctly!
Posted by anarchyreigns (299 comments )
Link Flag
Who cares!
Please stop it with this Propaganda about Google!
They have a web site and they can report to people that they have added a feature to their Tool bar.
Tell us some real news about the world of search.
Like who is doing new things?
What are the problems with Google, etc. to improve on?
Stop it with this daily Propaganda about Google adding next to nothing to software that very few care about.
I mean who for goodness sake uses a stupid tool bar anyway. That is why we have a web browser.
Posted by 207495111267145837975635436522 (58 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Agree, sort of...
I do think it is within the scope of CNet's tech news to report on updated software, such as the Google Toolbar. But I agree with Sandra that Google gets a lot of free, favorable coverage, enduring as something of a darling of the tech press, including CNet.

The willingness of Google to bend to the demands of the Chinese government in filtering its search results should be enough strip Google of its cherubic halo. Google should be covered like any other tech entity with a product, its darling status discarded like the words "liberty" and "democracy" in its Chinese search results.
Posted by Techno Guy (77 comments )
Link Flag
Get a clue fool.
You're getting really annoying with your complete ignorance regarding tech reporting. Every ******* tech news (as well as non-tech ones) organziation has reported on this. The AP, Reuters, PC World, PC Magazine, AFP, CNN, MSNBC, are just a few of them.

Eveytime Cnet does a story regarding either Microsoft or Google or Yahoo! some ignorant wannabe such as yourself comes here and spouts off utter nonsense. If you're going to *****, at least get the product right...it's their desktop search program...not a toolbar, fool.

One more thing, look the word "propaganda" and learn how to use it correctly!
Posted by anarchyreigns (299 comments )
Link Flag
searching across multiple computers
Microsoft has been there and done that with Windows Desktop Enterprise Search Tool, note this not the consumer msn desktop search <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.microsoft.com/windows/desktopsearch/enterprise/default.mspx" target="_newWindow">http://www.microsoft.com/windows/desktopsearch/enterprise/default.mspx</a>

Interface and intergration with other apps blows away google desktop
Posted by mcepat (118 comments )
Reply Link Flag
RE:searching across multiple computers
And Cnet makes no mention of this. Funny how Cnet always has bad things to say about MS


Hey maybe Cnet networks wants Google to buy them?
Posted by itworker--2008 (130 comments )
Link Flag
Also worth noting..
Win XP already has this built-in.

XP's built-in indexing service automatically connects to other XP computers running the indexing service, so you can search on other computer's indexes.

I think it works the same way in Win 2000 as well.
Posted by M A (51 comments )
Link Flag
searching across multiple computers
Microsoft has been there and done that with Windows Desktop Enterprise Search Tool, note this not the consumer msn desktop search <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.microsoft.com/windows/desktopsearch/enterprise/default.mspx" target="_newWindow">http://www.microsoft.com/windows/desktopsearch/enterprise/default.mspx</a>

Interface and intergration with other apps blows away google desktop
Posted by mcepat (118 comments )
Reply Link Flag
RE:searching across multiple computers
And Cnet makes no mention of this. Funny how Cnet always has bad things to say about MS


Hey maybe Cnet networks wants Google to buy them?
Posted by itworker--2008 (130 comments )
Link Flag
Also worth noting..
Win XP already has this built-in.

XP's built-in indexing service automatically connects to other XP computers running the indexing service, so you can search on other computer's indexes.

I think it works the same way in Win 2000 as well.
Posted by M A (51 comments )
Link Flag
already made outlook crash 3 times in 2 hours
This tool is in beta, but beware--it messed up my Outlook ost file. even after I uninstalled and restarted by PC, Google Desktop was back, asking me for preferences! Ugh.
Posted by djacobsonw (27 comments )
Reply Link Flag
already made outlook crash 3 times in 2 hours
This tool is in beta, but beware--it messed up my Outlook ost file. even after I uninstalled and restarted by PC, Google Desktop was back, asking me for preferences! Ugh.
Posted by djacobsonw (27 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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