Google goes Local

October 14, 2004

Google Introduces Search Program for Hard Drives


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Google Inc. on Thursday became the first tech heavyweight to tackle the daunting task of uncluttering computers, introducing a program that quickly scours hard drives for documents, e-mails, instant messages and past Web searches.

With the free desktop program, Google hopes to build upon the popularity of its Internet-leading search engine and become even more indispensable to the millions of people who entrust the Mountain View-based company to find virtually anything online.

The new product, available at, ups the ante in Google’s intensifying battle with software giant Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc., which owns the world’s second most popular search engine.

Google’s desktop invasion heralds a momentous step into a crucial realm — the challenge of managing the infoglut that has accumulated during the past decade as society becomes more tethered to increasingly powerful computers.

“We think of this (program) as the photographic memory of your computer,” said Marissa Mayer, Google’s director of consumer Web products. “It’s pretty comprehensive. If there’s anything you once saw on your computer screen, we think you should be able to find it again quickly.”

Although its desktop program can be used exclusively offline to probe hard drives, Google designed it to run in a browser so it will meld with its online search engine. visitors who have the new program installed on their computer will see a “desktop” tab above the search engine toolbar and all their search results will include a section devoted to the hard drive in addition to the Web. [more…]

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