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Google Not Ruling Out Desktop Search for Mac

First on TMO - Google Not Ruling Out Desktop Search for Mac

by , 9:00 AM EDT, October 18th, 2004

Google has not ruled out releasing a Macintosh version of its Desktop Search program that creates an index of the files on a user's own computer, a company spokesman told the Mac Observer, despite Apple planning on making similar functionality available in the next update to Mac OS X early next year. The free program was released in a preview version last Thursday for Windows-based personal computers only.

"We haven't ruled out a Mac version for the future," Google public relations spokesman Nathan Tyler said. "Our plan is to perfect the product in its current state, then consider options for other platforms like the Mac at that time."

Mr. Tyler would not give a time frame for when a decision would be made on a possible version of Google desktop search for the Mac.

The 400 kilobyte applet scans and indexes the computer's hard drive for a variety of common file formats, such as Microsoft Office documents, and America Online Instant Messenger chat files as well as plain text and HTML files on your hard drive. Every word in these files is indexed so that a user can search his or her own files in much the same way he or she would search for Web pages on Google. Google Desktop Search uses the browser user interface, and adds a tab to the Google home page.

In 1997 Netscape introduced a similar idea to Google's new program called Constellation, which merged local and internet applications. Microsoft then released a similar product called Active Desktop.

Much of the functionality of Google's new product has already been promised by Apple in the next version of Mac OS X, code named 'Tiger'. The new search technology, called Spotlight, enables users to search for any information, file or document or information on their Mac. Modeled after the search capabilities of Apple's iTunes music application, Spotlight will find e-mails, presentations, images, appointments, Microsoft Office documents and more, arranging its search results by kind, time or people.

Spotlight will also let users create customized folders, playlists, mailboxes and groups that work in the Finder and with individual applications to automatically keep content organized and updated.

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