Desktop Search

Cathleen Moore of InfoWorld writes:

Microsoft has won the browser battle, and owns most of the operating system and productivity software landscape. But Google has emerged as king of Web search, which has proved lucrative for contextual advertising and fertile ground for other services. Turns out those keywords we use to search on Google are great for selling ads.

The newest battleground is taking shape at the desktop. Today most people fire up their Microsoft Internet Explorer browser and search the Web through Google. But, if Google Web search is available from your desktop, why open IE at all? If access to the web is now at desktop Microsoft wants at least some of those millions of Web searches to go through MSN.

According to Timothy Hickernell, Vice President of Technology Research Services at Meta Group, commercial search vendors such as Google and Microsoft are likely at some point to try link indexed personal files to their ad-serving networks, in an attempt to further increase the contextual relevance of ads and paid search listings.

Obviously this could pose problems for enterprise users of desktop search systems. But corporate workers are clamoring for easy and effective ways to find files and documents on their PCs.

Furthermore, the benefits of tying desktop search to larger enterprise search infrastructure include letting remote users conduct offline searching of content that is synchronized with enterprise repositories, according to Hickernell.

According to David Burns, CEO of desktop search vendor Copernic, the Web keyword search business is exploding, and some of that overflowing to the desktop.

“People view the desktop as next big source of keyword inventory. Web keyword inventory has been wrung out over past five years,” Burns said. “Now we have powerful PCs and high bandwidth. This could be the next great place second to the browser or desktop applications where people spend a lot of time.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.