New Google Desktop

Google rev'd its Desktop application today. Again, I can't run it as I'm a Mac guy, but I'm told the new features include: – A customizable "Sidebar" interface for easier results viewing (in other words, Google floating on top of Windows, all the time. Gates is really happy about…

Gdlogo-TmGoogle rev’d its Desktop application today. Again, I can’t run it as I’m a Mac guy, but I’m told the new features include:

– A customizable “Sidebar” interface for easier results viewing (in other words, Google floating on top of Windows, all the time. Gates is really happy about this…)

– Email (Outlook) integration and offline Gmail searching

– More API support

– Better encryption

– “QuickFind” which sounds a lot like a UI hack on top of Windows to make it easier to launch applications.

What does this sound like to me? Sounds like Google acting like a software developer, strengthening a product in anticipation of it becoming a standard interface to your data. But that’s just me.

My first post on Desktop is here. SEW/Gary on the app here.

5 thoughts on “New Google Desktop”

  1. John,

    A few things jump out at me here, one that will be particularly fun to track:

    1. Design of this app is completely reminiscent of many previous apps, including Macromedia Central, Assistant and most noteably – this freeware app – Desktop Sidebar – If Google breathe new life into something as pedestrian as maps, I expect a little more design-wise from this desktop app.

    2. Search “Sidebar” in Google and you get a link to the Desktop Sidebar app above. Search “Desktop” and the first link is Google Desktop. I wonder how long it will take for the first “Sidebar” link to point to the Google app. This points to an interesting balance Google will have to find between insular goals and its pure search mission. That mission helped Google differentiate in its early years, while differentiation was the only strategy, and Yahoo et al were focused on Portal approaches. Tough balance they have to strike now.

    3. How long until we see IM in here? Seems like a natural.


  2. RE: Comment #3

    If they’d pop in an IM, then I’d actually use the sidebar layout full time, but as it stands right now (even with 2 monitors) I can’t spare the screen real-estate (granted if you could make it behave so you can put windows ontop of it maaaaaybe). 😉

  3. Eric,

    About your point saying Google needs to balance “between insular goals and its pure search mission”. I agree its a fine line. Interestingly enough though if you type in the word “search” in Google, is not the top item. An adsense salesperson (yeah – take it with a big grain of salt) pointed this out as an example of how “neutral” they try to be – but then again I’d question any search results where “AltaVista” is ranked higher than “Google” for that keyword search. Many could play the argument against them.

    I’ve played with the new Desktop Search all day – not bad but I do have some complaints. For instance in the “Web Clips” i can assign RSS feeds I want to read but it seems that it only gets me some of the posts from the blogs I’ve entered, based on some algorithm that tries to determine if it is worth my time (similar to the news tab)…I told it the site is worth my time – give me all the posts from those sites. Doesn’t seem to be an option at this point.

    No comment yet on the personalized news feed – I figure it’s still trying to learn my interests…so I’ll give it some time.

    Jay Cody

  4. To me I shut down many of the tabs immediately as redundant or unnecessary to my personal workflow. I am keeping all their what’s hot and web clippings to see what it thinks of my click-stream-behavior.

    The biggest surprise to me was the photos app. I thought that would be useless or annoying, but having taken over 13,500 digital photographs this silly little slideshow gave me something that desktop search or search in general couldn’t – a more immediate and deep understanding of the binary content I have in my coffers, and a reminder of what’s happened to me in recent years.

    Perhaps that window should be re-labeled work-life balance, or perhaps it should banned in enterprise scenarios!! Regardless, I like how they make me think in new ways about old tasks.


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