I’ve been using the Yahoo Desktop Search beta for a few days now. Over the past few months, I’ve tried desktop search tools from Copernic, Lookout, and Google. As you might expect, each has nice benefits and limitations. But all are far better than the paltry native Windows Search tool.
Sometime I may write a more comprehensive comparison. But the web is already full of them. Read and make your own selection.
My first impressions of Yahoo Desktop Search (YDS):
- Like Copernic and Google, it operates outside Outlook (unlike Lookout).
- Like Lookout, it integrates with Outlook giving me a new toolbar that I can use for searches.
- Like Copernic, it allows me a richer set of fields to guide me through crafting more specific searches. For email, fields like From, To, Subject, Date, and others. For file searches, fields like Name, Type, Path, Date. I know that Google has excelled at simple searches, even on the desktop. But unlike web searches, I usually know a little more about the information I’m seeking on my own computer desktop. I usually can remember that it was in a Powerpoint file, or in a Word document. Google Desktop Search allows these more specific searches also, but I have to remember search parameters like filetype:ppt. DOS was simple also, but most of us preferred Windows so we would have to remember command line parameters. (Although, my occasional forays into Linux/Unix remind me how powerful command lines can be!)
- My big beef with YDS is that it takes a l—o—n—g time to start up when I reboot my computer. The splash screen stays up forever loading this and initializing that. Of course, that is better than Copernic which caused Outlook to crash more frequently (I think, of course it’s harder to be sure in a multi-tasking operating system!).
If there were only one desktop search tool, I would be happy with any of them. Google, Copernic, Lookout, Yahoo. Any of them would satisfy me if there were only one. But in the world of user choices, I like them all, each for it’s own reasons.
Which do you like? Why?