Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Google Desktop out of beta!

From the Google Mars to another company acquisition, this is getting to be a productive week for Google. Today they officially took their Google Desktop product out of beta. Here's a very long list of all the features. Among other things, there's now a widget-like Quick Search Box that sits on your desktop and can be called by pressing the Ctrl key twice.

While Google Desktop looks very cool, I'm not sure the company ought to be taking its development too seriously (unless they're doing something MUCH bigger, more on that later). Mac OSX and Linux (in the form of Beagle and GNOME's Deskbar, among other things) already have what Google Desktop offers. And after Vista (especially after "WinFS"), there really is no point in using a third-party desktop search/sidebar application. Even if Google could make Google Desktop look and act better than the OS's own search functionality, why would anyone want to index all their files twice? Unless, of course, if WinFS is just one big vaporware that would be "delayed" again and again. Or... unless Google's planning to release an OS.

Of course there's Goobuntu, rumored to be the name of the company's internal OS based on Ubuntu Linux. They claim to have no plans of releasing it in public. If they eventually change their minds, though, then Google Desktop might be an integral part of the Goobuntu OS; it could even be part of a Linux desktop environment full of Google and Google-sponsored software. But it's all wild speculation for now.

Would be cool, though...