Google’s launched a desktop search tool, Google Desktop. A Windows-only tool for now, Google Desktop can search your Outlook emails, AOL IM conversations, plain text files, cached/saved web pages, MS Office files, and a few more (can it search PDFs? I dont know).
The Google Desktop first indexes the above files (you can choose which ones to leave out) when your computer is idle. An interesting feature is that while there is a system tray icon, the search tool itself is completely web-based. Clicking on “Search” or “Preferences” on the system tray icon will bring up a browser window with a search form, a la Google’s own home page.
This marks another step in Google’s foray onto our desktops. Not content with being merely a web-based search tool, Google has quietly released a few applications for our desktops. Think Google Toolbar, Picasa, GMail Agent.