David Galbraith writes on the opportunity for Google on the desktop:
One of the key components of Longhorn is a long awaited overhaul of the Windows file system that will allow proper full-text searching. File systems built on top of databases are not new, IBMs AS400s have had this for years, so it could be argued that an update to Windows is not technological progress but fixing inelegant software architecture. The Internet has made the use of full-text search familiar and necessary and the lack of this ‘must have’ feature in Windows is now embarrassing.
If this is not going to be available till 2004 then perhaps there is an opportunity for Google. Imagine a Google toolbar that provided indexing of files on your computer, rather like that provided by Enfish. Google would search your own computer and the Internet seamlessly. Now imagine that optional extras included searchable, secure backups of your email or documents accessible online. Microsoft’s dominance, that has spread from control of the command line to control of the desktop, would be challenged as a design flaw at the core of its operating system was exploited.
He adds: “Microsoft owned command line access to your own machine and built on top of that. Google owns the command line for access to other machines.”
He builds upon this argument: “The [Google] search box extends beyond the web to allow searching files that are located on any machine, from any machine and the search becomes not only aware of the content that is being searched, but triggers different results based upon the context…A universal command line to access anything from anywhere.”
On a separate note, Google is seeking to take this domination further with the launch of the beta of its shopping search engine, Froogle.