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Google Enters Hunt for Desktops

Installing the beta was painless--it returned a friendly Google search interface using HTTP on my loop-back interface. The application immediately started a background process to index my local drives for supported files, including AOL Instant Messenger and all Microsoft Office apps. It even indexed my Web history of HTTP and HTTPS files.

Using the "search preferences" page, you can exclude any supported file types from the index and local file paths. The tool lets you include desktop search results with Google Web searches, and even enter URLs you don't want to search.

Although the combined-search option is useful, I'd rather have more advanced tools to get to the bottom of my drive. Several competitors to the Google product--Copernic Desktop Search, dtSearch Desktop, ISYS: Desktop and X1 Desktop Search--provide these advanced tools.

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