October 15, 2004

Google Desktop Search - personal search and web notifications

So of course, I downloaded Google's Desktop search. I was pleasantly suprised at the simplicity and "it just works" aspect. The results are interesting. I haven't really missed not having reasonable search.

Something that intrigued me was that they use an HTTP server on the client to serve up the pages. This may be more interesting than just search. Lots of desktops have Web servers - mainly Mac OS/X - but Google can use this to build very powerful network applications. And when enough Windows users trust Google and allow a conduit for software downloads, the door is wide open for Google to deliver those Web native apps. Something I'm thinking of is an HTTP based notification mechanism - Google's search alerts delivered more live than email, pings to your blogs built with Blogger, GMail notifications. (Speaking of GMail, I'm suprised Google Desktop doesn't index that.)

I wonder if the Google's desktop server can return XML for search results. Kind of interesting to think about subscribing to your 'personal web' search results as a feed.

I like the term 'personal web'. Way back when I first started at DataChannel, some of my early notes talked about 'world wide web', 'corporate web' and 'personal web'. The company was into push at the time, later it got into enterprise portals and I eventually built a subscription and notification service for that portal product (after returning from a scintillating stint at KnowNow). There was a company from Seattle that had a localhost based Web server app for subscriptions to live notifications - very enlightening to see a web server on the desktop as the application framework. Notifications, desktop web servers, 'personal web', push technologies - it all sounds so familiar...

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