I feel I've said a few too many times that desktop search launches in general have become old hat, yawn-worthy, as dull as lunching on leftovers from dinner the night before. ... For the last day or so, it's been all over the wires that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has taken its version of desktop search out of beta. It's a big news headline, which implies perhaps some comment should be made, although the fanfare surrounding both beta and officially launched versions of products seem a bit redundant these days, to say the least.

Microsoft's officially launched desktop search includes an MSN Search toolbar that lets users plunder their desktops for exactly the document or information they seek. The new toolbar also lets users preview the files their search has unearthed and control what data can and can't be searched, both of which sound like perfectly decent pluses. Meanwhile, taking a page from the upstart Firefox Web browser, Microsoft also plans to add a feature to Internet Explorer that will allow for tabbed browsing within the next few months.

It's not lost on anyone that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) set the standard in desktop search, with Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) coming up with a me-too move and Ask Jeeves (NASDAQ:ASKJ) getting into the action as well.

Meanwhile, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) recent version of Mac OS X, known as Tiger, prowled onto the scene with a desktop search utility built in -- although many were quick to shoot down claims of innovation regarding that feature, considering that Windows machines can easily use the programs from Google, Yahoo!, or Microsoft to gain similar capabilities.

(And of course, there were already ways to search one's desktop on all kinds of machines -- I used to use something called Sherlock on my old Mac -- although one might hope that more recent versions of the idea deliver better results.)

At this point, it goes without saying that Microsoft's just providing another feature that any Internet company involved in search has to provide these days. Yep, the search wars continue -- as well as the desire to promote site stickiness, as all the Internet giants try to persuade users not to click away to find what they're searching for.

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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.