We've all known it for ages -- none of the Web giants can rest on their laurels in the search arena. Today, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) released Desktop 2 -- a new spin on its desktop search product, which includes a nifty feature called Sidebar. This is another volley aimed at digging itself deeper into your computer experience while thwarting Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT ) and Yahoo!'s (Nasdaq: YHOO ) attempts to do the same.
I downloaded the new desktop search, including Sidebar, today. Just as advertised, Sidebar is a bookmark-sized swatch that runs down the side of your screen real estate, featuring instantly refreshing boxes of information like a quick glimpse of your email history (including Gmail and Outlook), a history of sites and files you've used recently, news headlines, stocks, and local weather.
Other cool features include a scratch pad for quick notes and an area where you can find the latest from blogs and sites with RSS feeds. My only complaint might be getting used to a little extra fussy text on the side of my screen, but so far, it seems pretty interesting to be able to take a glance at where I've been.
The most interesting element of the new tool is that it takes the keying -- maybe even the thinking -- out of desktop search by analyzing where you've been or what you might want to keep an eye on. Meanwhile, the concept of personalization definitely gives competitors a run for their money.
Given that investors were rather disappointed with Google's performance last time earnings rolled around, it behooves the company to keep on trying to come up with ways to make its search the flagship in searching and organizing information on the Web and on the desktop. Although it's difficult to see how Sidebar monetizes Google's presence on desktops, from a brand and user loyalty viewpoint, Google's new and improved desktop organization campaign seems like a good start indeed.
We've done the searching for you! For more on Google, please see the following Foolish content:
- Yep, maybe Google's mortal after all.
- More Google vs. Microsoft.
- Relive Google's original foray onto your desktop.
Alyce Lomaxdoes not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.