New Google Desktop Search Wins; Google Talk Doesn't

by Preston Gralla

Google has been busy these days, releasing a new version of Google Desktop Search and a first version of Google Talk.

The new Google Desktop Search goes a long way toward solving the problems of the first version. There's a small client this time around, rather than it being purely browser-based, for a start. Better yet, it integrates directly into Outlook, so you can do lightning-fast searches from within the email program.

It still suffers from a basic problem, though -- it treats your PC as if it were the Web, and so you can't do basic things such as search within folders. So I now use two search programs, Google Desktop Search, and Copernic Desktop Search. For quick-and-dirty email searches, I use Google. I use Copernic for everything else.

Google Talk is not as useful a piece of software as Google Desktop Search. It's a spare-looking chat program, and it handles voice communications particularly well. It lets you communicate with others who use Google Talk, and clients that use the Jabber/XMPPP protocol, such as GAIM.

The problem is that most of the world doesn't use Google Talk or Jabber/XMPPP --- people primarily use AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger, or Yahoo Messenger. And Google Talk won't talk to those programs.

Until it does, it'll remain a nice but not particularly useful program. The rumor mill says Google Talk will eventually become a universal messenger to talk to AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger. For now, though, it won't. And so for now, a better bet is Trillian, which is a true universal messenger. Once Google talks to them all, it'll be a winner, though.

What do you think of Google Talk and Google Desktop Search?


2005-09-02 12:25:28
Google Talk can't talk to the private networks coz they don't share their APIs
and Trillian had to reverse-engineer the different protocols to do its thing, resulting in an endless arms race as the big three networks actively block Trillian.

Again, its a classic lock-in strategy. I can't count how many of my friends still maintain Hotmail and Yahoo email accounts coz both firms won't do forwards and POP access gratis, unlike Gmail.

And once again, true to the "do no evil" maxim, they built GTalk on an open standard - the XMPP protocol.

And out of the gate, GTalk is built for interoperability (have you read and people actually go out of their way to download and install the software.

The same can't be said of the other IM clients which are often pre-installed out-of-the-box.