Have they no shame? The team at Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) is the latest to cast a wary eye on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) popular new desktop search tool and yell, "me too!" CEO Terry Semel told an audience earlier this week that Yahoo! would be operating in that space "in short course."

Quite predictable, really. After all, no matter what the tech columnists and PR departments try to tell us, the so-called desktop search game isn't really about innovation or helping us poor, beleaguered end users; it's about money. Why else do these folks want to bundle paid listings together with local search? It's about capitalizing on our forgetfulness and disorganization in order to put more ads in front of more eyeballs more often. Not that there's anything wrong with that -- at least for shareholders.

In the early stages of this game, it's about brand recognition. After all, there's nothing particularly new or innovative about this technology. Both Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) computers and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows have included robust file-searching utilities for some time. Finding the text in a document on a Windows machine is just a right click away. Ditto digging up email. True, Google integrated email, the Web cache, and instant messaging into a single search, but for most folks, this is only mildly convenient.

And if it's a bit faster than searching the old-school way, that's only because the program keeps a rather large and nosy disk cache that is constantly updated. (To judge by the sound of my running hard drive, Google and I have different opinions on what constitutes an "idle" computer.)

Google's real coup was in the massive -- and mostly free -- PR blitz that accompanied the offering, and the successive announcement of a similar service for Macs. And while Google shares have doubled since the IPO, Yahoo's entry into the fray shows just how shallow Google's moat may be. Google's good, but it's not doing much that can't be accomplished by any number of other Web veterans and start-ups. Yahoo! may be late to the game, but when it arrives, you can bet it will be ready to play.

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Fool contributor Seth Jayson uninstalled Google desktop search when he could no longer take the constant grinding of the hard drive. At the time of publication, he had positions in no company mentioned. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here.