I appreciate the advent of Desktop Search tools and I have used and been abused by most of them out there. Here is a brief review of my experience.

    Google Desktop Search
    I recently UNinstalled Google Desktop Search. It had been a longtime
    favorite but the returns were not deep or clear. It was difficult to
    only read titles of the search returns and a short description to try
    to figure out what was actually in the file. Google would also slow my
    machine down when I re-booted my computer. I usually work a few days
    and place my machine into Suspend mode when I am finished working. When
    I re-boot after a few days, Google takes over my machine to index what
    it was not able to index during suspension.

    That can mean a 30 minute
    wait to get my computer “back” from the indexing task and that is not
    acceptable while on deadline.
    CopernicI purchased the
    standalone Copernic Pro search software several years ago. I could
    never make myself love it. The interface was clunky and non-intuitive.
    The free version for Desktop Search has that same icky feel as the paid
    version. The interface needs to be simpler. Search returns need to be
    given back faster. I noticed some system sluggishness after
    installation. I removed it after several days of testing.
    Yahoo! Desktop Search (X1)
    I am a Yahoo! Boy
    deep and through. I use Yahoo! all day long. My Yahoo! is my favorite
    portal. However, I have never been a fan of Yahoo! Desktop Search.

    I
    have never been a fan of X1’s paid search program, either, even though
    I paid $70 for it a while back. Now X1 is the new search engine
    architecture for Yahoo! Desktop Search and, I’m sad to say, it’s pretty
    awful. The X1 standalone version never ran well on four of my
    computers. It would always barf indexing all my gigs of saved email.
    The interface is — even in the new version — messy and overly
    complicated.

    The Yahoo! Desktop Search version isn’t much better and
    this is the punishment Yahoo! must take for coming so late to the
    desktop search engine party — they can only offer a re-branded version
    of my $70 X1 dud. I have installed and uninstalled X1 and Yahoo!
    Desktop Search many times on many machines hoping it would get better
    and work faster. With each installation I hoped I would finally keep it
    and I always ended up swiftly removing it from my system.
    Windows Desktop Search

    I was
    shocked to find out how good Windows Desktop Search has become and I
    now use Windows Desktop Search as my default search engine for local
    files. When I’m searching the internet a9 is still the king.
    The Windows Desktop Search interface is clean and immediately
    navigable. Setting Options are easy.

    I hated I had to install an MSN
    toolbar to get the full functionality of the Desktop Search but, boy,
    does this thing buzz! Windows Desktop Search doesn’t hog my machine
    resources after a suspended-for-days reboot like Google did. Search
    returns are immediate. I can force a re-Indexing as I wish.

    I love the
    detailed preview of my files in the right side of the search pane. I
    can search from my Taskbar, Internet Explorer, Desktop, Outlook (I
    finally UNinstalled LookOut! now that Microsoft folded it into their
    Desktop Search) and the Files Explorer. Sweet! I can tell Windows
    Desktop Search precisely where to search and where NOT to search. I can also tell MSN to take a hike as my default search engine and choose my favorite, instead. Who knew Microsoft was so nimble and responsive in its middle-age? 

The most interesting comparison between Google Desktop Search and
Windows Desktop Search is that Google only indexes the first 5,000
words of a file while Windows indexes the first megabyte — that is a
huge difference in depth and clarity of search returns. Also, Google’s
index files took up 700MB more of my hard drive space than Windows Search and each were indexing the same number of files.
Saving that much disk space with Windows Desktop Search makes backing up your vital search index much easier on your billfold.

7 Comments

  1. Hi Stephanie —
    Your question is interesting and I went back into the “Would You Take $10,000” story and answered you there.
    Thanks for the nudging thoughts! 🙂
    Oh, and as a Vegan, I a love your Veggie website.

  2. Now that’s integrity.
    It makes you wonder what type of person would be surprised at people writing not for money, but just because they loved doing it.
    I’m going to go have a look at the magazine now.