Internet search giant Google unveiled a new desktop program that allows personal
computer users to search the Web as well as their own computer files, a move analysts said could be a
challenge to Microsoft.
Google said a test version of its Desktop Search application was being offered for free downloads.
"Google Desktop Search brings the power of Google to your personal information on your own computer. As
easily as searching Google, you can instantly search your files, local email, the Web pages you have
seen, and more," said Larry Page, Google's co-founder.
"It's free, installs quickly, and keeps completely up to date. Google Desktop Search represents a
quantum leap in access to your own information."
Joe Wilcox at Jupiter Research said the move by Google could be a threat to Microsoft by making the
Windows platform and browser less needed.
"Google essentially is blurring the informational divide between desktop and Web information, which is a
smart approach that should concern Microsoft.
"Google is shifting the focus away from specific technologies, like Windows, to the greater utility of
Web-based information," Wilcox said in a Web log.
"Google's desktop search tool may run on only Windows, but that's because of the sheer volume of people
using the operating system. And that's where Google can fill in search capabilities left out by
Wilcox said others are likely to follow Google's lead.
"Google may be first, but AOL (America Online) and Microsoft also are preparing desktop search tools.
Competition is just beginning," he said.