Desktop In Your Pocket

Kevin Laws writesd how desktop search companies will allow people to use mobile device as a window into your desktop world.

The latest fad in the consumer world is finally giving us a glimpse into the future. Google released the Google Desktop Search utility, which indexes your personal files and emails. It then allows you to search them using the familiar Google interface. It’s cute, but the really powerful tool is called X1 (from the prolific folks at Idealab). It indexes all emails, even the old archived ones from three years ago, and has a variety of features that put Google to shame (of course, there’s a lot to be said for free – X1 is $75).

This is finally a window into your desktop that could fit on a 2″ by 2″ screen. I wouldn’t need to carry my desktop files around with me. I should be able to do a very simple text search on my Treo that will tell me precisely what file I’m looking for on my desktop. I could then download the file, work with it, and put it back. I could even find cousin Selma’s email from three years ago.

The additional technology necessary to support this feature is trivial. All X1 or Google would need to do is open up a secure interface as a web server. Any device with a web browser – your laptop, your Treo, your cell phone – could log in and find the necessary file, email, or information.

Your entire virtual world could be available to you in seconds through device that fits in your pocket. Will the desktop search companies realize this potential?

Om Malik adds: “[Silicon Valley] doesnt get wireless and mobility. They want to reinvent the desktop sans wires. Wrong approach, right idea, and wasted dollars. US is cursed by wintel which explains why more people outside of US buy Symbian smart phones and prefer them over Treo or Pocket PC phones.”

I think that what is needed on mobile phones is a thin client equivalent – like VNC. This delivers a small-screen version of the desktop from the server ot the client device. No syncing, no replication. Assumes – and we are getting there – ubiquitous presence of networks.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.