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Old 12-13-2004   #1
pdstein
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Desktop search - whats the point?

Maybe I'm just clueless, but what is all the hubub about desktop search? Sure it's useful, but why are SE companies climbing over each other to offer this ap? What's in it for them?
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Old 12-14-2004   #2
Patrick Berry
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basically the idea is to enable tesktop search. Not just you emails and other files actually that reside in your pc, but also web search without going to the web site page to make the search.

this terns into another potential revenue maker. you search you local emails for bottle top openner ( since that is the subject of an email your are searching for) adn msn or google not only find you your email, but also
Quote:
offer
relevant ad content.
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Old 12-14-2004   #3
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So there is advertising in the desktop search results.
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Old 12-14-2004   #4
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desktop search has been a lifesaver for me. I'm testing MSN but I like Google's cache feature. this has, on multiple occassions, allowed me to pull documents I inadvertantly deleted. MSN doesn't seem to have this feature.
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Old 12-15-2004   #5
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Hello pdstein,

I cannot confirm if desktop search comes with, the beta google does not, but I do believe that is were it is going.
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Old 12-15-2004   #6
KeywordMonkey
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Why Desktop Serach?
  • Advertising alongside results (after Betas)
  • Marketshare - if I use MSN Toolbar for desktop serach, I'll probably use for Web, too. And maybe MSN Messenger, Hotmail, MSN blogs...
  • (Possibly) gathering search trend data and selling it on
  • (Possibly) selling add-ons to free dekstop search tools that connect them to enterprise search solutions
  • Personlisation and localisation of web search results via user profile in tool / related service profile (MSN Passport, Yahoo accounts)
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Old 12-15-2004   #7
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Desktop Doesnt Seem Useful

I'm so glad someone raised this question. I dont' understand desktop search either.

I mean, really, where is the benefit for the user? I know I wouldnt want to use it in my office computer. I dont care for it on my home computer - and some files I want hidden from people. I dont even use the "recent documents" shortcut because I dont want certain documents accessible to stray users at home.

Desktop search is probably good for parents who want to monitor their children's activities online, including email. But beyond that - whole wants this feature? The webbrowser toolbars are an annoyance as is.

Most computer users I know are not savvy enough on their computers to really want to use this tool.

The main premise for this desktop search is that more targeted information or ads can be sent, within the context of the user's actual behavior - like how Amazon.com responds to your online shopping with suggestions for similar titles or products.

But that advertising premise is pretty faulty too. First off, users would need to download the tool and install it. So the market is not computer users, but computer users who download AND use the tool. That market drastically diminishes from say - Internet users.

Second, it's clear that when you use the desktop search to search for your files in the computer, you will have different files for different purposes. And clearly, you will not be receptive to ads for all of your files. What if you were doing a school report on pulmonary heart surgery? Does that mean you want ads for lowering colesterol to prevent heart attacks? Unlike Alexa's toolbar showing "related" links based on what you are looking at in your browser, you searching for your emails or files has nothing to do with being receptive to ads served up based on your desktop search. With desktop search, you are actually looking for specific information, maybe your list of IDs and passwords, old bank files, or whatever. The point is, when you look on your desktop, it's a lot more goal/task oriented. How often have you stopped to receive a marketing message when you have stuff to do? Do you like it when you are busy and a telemarketer calls - it's even worse when you try to be nice to them and tell them you have to go but they try to keep you talking.

With desktop search, you dont have any of that liberty - if the SEs use them to serve ads. You become at their mercy. Of course, they could put the ads casually on the side and gently out of the way, easy enough for you to ignore. But it would still be there!

So then it comes down to - how useful is this tool for advertising? I dont see how this is any good, because there are too many hurdles before you can even get a user to click on an ad. The user needs to download the tool, install the tool, and then pay attention to the ads in the tool.

Only Microsoft stands to win in this because they can at least package this tool with their software or future versions of Windows. MS can incorporate desktop search as part of the usability of Windows.

But what I do see in the news may be more of what is to come. Google's academic search and other more specialized search coming out may be more indicative of the real future. For instance, the more specialized search portals - actively marketed on Google and actively giving searchers the option for general search or specialized search -> leading to academic or not, I think, gives searchers the illusion of more control. It also gives searchers a no-brain way of searching for what they want. Most users do not use much of the commands like allintitle or what not. So I think reducing the thinking or strategizing in search for the user is the ultimate gem for SEs. The more "intuitive" and user-friendly it is, along with excellent quality search results, the more the users will like the SE brand. This is what I think.
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Old 12-15-2004   #8
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>I mean, really, where is the benefit for the user? I know I wouldnt want to use it in my office computer. I dont care for it on my home computer - and some files I want hidden from people. I dont even use the "recent documents" shortcut because I dont want certain documents accessible to stray users at home.

This is what I'm seeing out in the real world as well. This is a hot topic for the search-informed crowd but JohnQ isn't fired up about it (most I've asked reply "windows does that already, it's on there somewhere but I've never used it much).
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Old 12-15-2004   #9
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I was VERY hesitant about downloading Google Desktop. Since I have though I LOVE it. I don't use it much but when I do its a life saver. The best thing about it, which I believe MSN desktop does not do, is provide multiple caches of an item. Many times I've deleted something completely, but found a cache via Google desktop.
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Old 12-15-2004   #10
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Thumbs up Desktop Search has changed my life!

I thought DTS was just another fancy name for the sluggish finding of files I'd seen via microsoft's built-in Find.

No! Since acquiring, first Google, and now msft DTS (I am still evaluating), I find that I hardly ever actually "look" for anything anymore.

This is particularly interesting (hey, to me, at least! ) as I find that I don't even "look" for stuff when I know where it is. I search, and it just pops up, generally quite a lot faster than if I were trolling through my directory hierarchy.

Fast, easy - I found things I didn't even remember hiding, and would have loved to have found ages ago!

Now, as to whether microsoft DST trumps Google, (or any of the upcoming), well my own jury is out. I hear what people are saying about the cache, but I really like being able to search such a wide variety of file types, too.

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Old 12-16-2004   #11
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Caches? I'm not sure I like the sound of that. Isn't there a risk of it backing up viruses without you realising? Sometimes you really do WANT stuff deleting.
 
Old 12-16-2004   #12
St0n3y
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I agree, sometimes you do want something deleted. The drawback of cache, but it has its benefits to.

I did a search for an old image file today, I happened to file name but didn't even know if it was still on my computer. I searched using both MS and Google desktop. Google came back with the .gif image, while MS cambe back with the .gif and photoshop files. The photoshop was the version I needed.
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Old 12-16-2004   #13
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How many times can you index everything on your desktop? Its worse than instant messengers, at least there is a good reason to have all the IM icons in your taskbar, I can't see having multiple indexes of the same content on my desktop.

So what it comes down to is: There can be only one.

Windows already has search built into it, its in the task bar. Whats it gonna take for MS to include their search bar in the next windows update?
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Old 12-16-2004   #14
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How many peole have more than one toolbar installed? quite a few. I don't like toolbars but I do rely on Google for some of the info they provide. I don't use others, but many do for the various features each offers.

Same goes for desktop search. I like some features on Google and some on MSN. Until either one has all the features I like I'll be happy with two small desktop search icons in my taskbar.
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Old 12-16-2004   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Broker
How many times can you index everything on your desktop? Its worse than instant messengers, at least there is a good reason to have all the IM icons in your taskbar, I can't see having multiple indexes of the same content on my desktop.
I wonder if each DTS indexes the other DTS's indexes.

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Whats it gonna take for MS to include their search bar in the next windows update?
I'd be shocked if it wasn't included soon.
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Old 12-16-2004   #16
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Don't expect it for a while...

It won't be in Windows Update until it's out of beta - they've made too many bad releases with flaws in the past. Bad PR.

I suspect they will push it via Office Update too as it is very good for Outlook emails - I use LookOut now and see it as a vital part of Outlook (MS bought LookOut in the summer, it's the basis for the search tool I believe).
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Old 12-16-2004   #17
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Ill be using whichever one supports firefox and thunderbird.
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Old 12-16-2004   #18
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MSN does not appear to provide a web history, or if it does, not for browsing done through FireFox. Google will give me a web history.

Both scan email messages for Outlook. Don't know about Thunderbird.
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Old 12-16-2004   #19
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I used the G dtop app for around a day..then had an attack of the heebeegeebee's and uninstalled it.

As for all the other new Desktop introductions, I haven't even had a sniff at them, and am unlikely to either.

A web browser does it for me, and the existing windoze search thing does what I need it to. Still, all that said, I was impressed with the app whilst installed, purely from a 'ooh how clever those guys' perspective, but then I got all cynical and paranoid of course..

The commercial imperatives are of course monumental ( to the SE's ) , the view is that if your pc has their desktop app installed and that then becomes your defacto search method, then in theory they have the potential to gain greater market share through limiting the likelihood of you going to another search property via a web browser, the convenience factor will kick in, and as a result their advertisng revenues will rise. The thing is, its not really my battle or concern, Ill just watch the battle unfold and see who wins.

Can't help but feel that m$ will kick bottom soon, what defence against a ubiquitous OS that is almost certain to include the same - think longhorn.

oh well!
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Old 12-16-2004   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Broker
Ill be using whichever one supports firefox and thunderbird.
That would be Copernic. I believe I just read that they updated to this capability.
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