Google has released a new Google Desktop Search tool(http://desktop.google.com/) today that allows people to scan their computers for information in the same way they use Google to search the web.
"This is what I think is one of our our more exciting announcements this fall," said Marissa Mayer, Google's director of consumer web products. "Our users have been asking for this. They say, 'Google is great, but why can't I search my computer the same way?'"The tool is remarkable for its power yet simplicity. Rather than create a standalone application, Google Desktop Search seamlessly blends into Google itself. Those using the tool see a new "Desktop" link on the Google home page and search results page. Selecting this link brings back results found on their own computers.
In particular, the tool indexes the full text of:
* Email within Outlook or Outlook Express (notes, contacts, journal and to do list items are not included, nor are emails in the Deleted Items folder)
* Microsoft Word, Excel & PowerPoint files
* AOL Instant Messenger chats
* Web pages viewed online in Internet Explorer or any HTML file saved to your computer
* Plain text files
The tool also indexes the text within the file names of image in JPEG or GIF formats, giving it rudimentary image search capabilities. File names of Adobe Acrobat PDF content and names of some other file types are also indexed. Full text indexing of information in these files is NOT done.
Unlike with Gmail or regular Google searches, ads are not shown with desktop search results or content viewed through desktop search.