Google’s desktop search gets personal

Google has released a new beta version of its popular desktop search tool, which features the ability to send files directly to another user’s desktop and search information across multiple PCs.

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By  Cleona Godinho Published  February 13, 2006

Google has released a new beta version of its popular desktop search tool, which features the ability to send files directly to another user’s desktop and search information across multiple PCs. Google Desktop 3’s new ‘Search across computers’ feature works by copying a user’s text files to Google’s server, which then forwards the files to the user’s PC or PCs. Previous versions of the firm’s search tool only indexed files, without storing copies on Google’s server. Users can upload any number of files including Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, web histories (log files) as well as PDF files. Content from secure websites however is not included in the list. According to Google, all files will be kept on its server for 30 days and all data is not accessible by users of Google’s search engine. While the new tool aids mobility, privacy groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) believe the tool is a major security risk and could tempt hackers. Google in turn argues that the new search feature will be very useful to users who work on many PCs. “Too many people are working across multiple computers now,” says Google vice president Marissa Mayer, as quoted by usatoday.com. “This makes their lives easier.” Other new Desktop 3 features include password protection and a new split feature, which allows users to divide the side bar into different panels and place it anywhere on the desktop. Google Desktop 3 beta runs on Windows XP and Windows 2000 (with Service Pack 3 installed). Users who wish to try the 1.5Mbyte program can download it from http://desktop.google.com.

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