Each day comes with the announcement of an exciting new product due to the war like competition between Yahoo! and Google. It was only few days back that I deleted Google Desktop and installed Yahoo! Desktop Search. But today, Google has come up with a new version of their search tool and I knew I had to get it.
After resisting the initial impulse, I browsed over to the Google webpage and read a bit. Still not convinced I was about to leave and then I saw the screenshots, which are like rain songs in Indian movies. They tantalize, but don’t reveal much. But that was enough for me to download Google Desktop. Then I was frantically configuring the Sidebar to read random feeds and display photos from various sources. Then I configured a few stocks and installed a few plugins.
I also configured Sidebar to show weather in the city I am in and so I get weather via a plugin on my browser, a widget on Konfabulator and now on Sidebar. All of them agree that it is going to be cloudy. I also turned around in my chair, looked out through the window and verified it. I have TODO lists on Konfabulator and Google Sidebar each holding various pieces of things to do. Action item number one is to merge all of them.
According to those ever helpful analysts, the Sidebar is Google’s aggressive move against Yahoo! and Microsoft and it’s true. The Sidebar aggressively pushed all my Windows applications to the left and occupied some valuable real estate on the right side. I had to select Auto Hide to reclaim the space back.
It was only few days back that I installed Konfabulator from Yahoo! after seeing the screenshots of some cool widgets. It displays weather with some stunning graphics, and shows alarm clocks in various ways, all of which I don’t need. But this is the closest to a Mac, that my Windows machine can get. But Sidebar can also display clocks. There was this old adage that all software would expand until it can read mail. Now it expands to display alarm clocks.
After the new install Google Desktop started indexing my data and it was slow. Since I had to search for something (the txt file which is my TODO list), I started Yahoo Desktop Search and it started indexing again. Google was indexing too and both of them reached my email held by Thunderbird almost at the same time. Since Thunderbird was not designed for a threesome, it thew up some expletives in hex and quit.
When I thought I could take a break from configuring various desktop searches and slick widgets, there is news that Google is going to release a communication tool. In this crazy widget eat widget world Microsoft has thankfully stayed away. Instead of burdening the user with innovations each week, they have decided to stand back and concentrate on something called Vista which is due next year, which means we will get it when America pulls out of Eye-Rack.