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Today I took the chance to trial out Yahoo Desktop Search and MSN Desktop Search along with Google Desktop Search. I already had 'Lookout' and 'Blinkx' installed on my system.

Yahoo Desktop Search: - I know this one is in beta, but guys make installation screens a bit better. The indexing was faster and there was simultaneous indexing done on different things i.e. email and documents and stuff ( I could see that). The things I liked about this tool was the feature of search as you type and also the integration of file viewers into the tool itself. With this feature I don't have to necessarily open Adobe Acrobat just for viewing what was in the file. I like that this can index mostly all kind of widely used file types. The integration of the search tool into Outlook can be handy as well. The ability to limit the index file size is very helpful, afterall I don't want to have a index file which is 10 GB in size!

The thing I did not necessarily like is that this tool has no integration on the web. I am sure Yahoo can tell us many good reasons for this, but having it integrated with the browser is very helpful in day to day searching. Is there any other neat feature that I should have looked at?

MSN Desktop Suite: - Although this tool came out more than what I expected from Microsoft, there are many things that I do not like. I am forced to install their whole suite of tools which I dont' want to. Firefox does not recognise the fact that Desktop Search is installed and so I cannot use Firefox to search my local files. Is this Microsoft's way of forcing us to use Internet Explorer? I wish I could add and remove document types for indexing!

Good things that I like about the tool is it's integration with browser ( I wish this can be done for browsers other than IE) and also Deskbar. What I would suggest is rather than having it only on taskbar, people should have the option of letting the search bar floating on the desktop where ever they like. I prefer not to waste precious space on my taskbar with such big tool boxes. I like what they have done on MSN Desktop Search page in the browser. I can limit my searches by the type of document, which is a good thing. I am in love with the web interface that is designed for Desktop searches.

With this tool and the new MSN Search portal, they are giving people a good reason to switch over their primary search engine.

Google Desktop Search: - After checking the above tools, I think Google should release a new update to their software soon. They are a bit behind I think on the features offered by their tool. I don't like the tool, as it takes a lot of hard disk space in the form of index file and it seems that my machine is always busy while not in use ( this might be because I have big hard disks that need to be indexed).

Lookout: - I am still in love with this tool and am not planning to move away from this tool in the coming days.

Blinkx: - The tool is good, but is there any special reason I should still keep on trying or using this tool, seeing the features of other tools as mentioned above?

For now I will keep on using MSN Desktop Search and Lookout. What are your opinions?

Tejas Patel

Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 1:55 PM Tools , Technical | Back to top

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