Microsoft, Yahoo, Ask Jeaves and Google all have released tools to enable you to search your computer. They are not the first ones to do this, but X1 Technologies, Enfish, dtSearch, Copernic, ISYS Search Software and others already have had this technology available. Before all of them, of course, Microsoft had a built in search tool – but it is so slow. Each search you make using Microsoft’s search tool, the original one built into Windows, has to search your entire hard disk from scratch – there is no index – which would have made the process easier.
So why does searching your computer matter so much to these vendors? Well, 1) for those who charge money of course it is a source of revenue 2) for those who offer search for free – they want to be able to have millions of users go through them – as opposed to the competition to search your desktop. Also – eventually they can start selling context sensitive advertising around your searches.
InfoWorld writes But when Google and Microsoft get itchy about something at the same time there has to be more to it.
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.