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Google Desktop Beta Gets A Sidebar

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An updated beta version of the Google Desktop search tool has a new look and a new module to gather web content.

Google hasn’t replaced Internet Explorer with the Sidebar in its latest Desktop tool release, but it does place several interesting features on the desktop for users of the newest beta version.

The Sidebar module provides a digest of information, and what it provides can be expanded, minimized, removed, and placed back on the Sidebar again. Sidebar consists of various plug-ins, and Google has made the APIs available so developers can create third-party plug-ins.

Sidebar arrives with modules for email, news, weather, photos, stocks, web clips (RSS and Atom feeds), scratch pad (for making notes), and quick view (to see frequently accessed documents. A Quick Find search box lets users utilize the power of the desktop search to locate files.

Desktop beta version 2 runs on Windows XP or 2000 SP 3 PC systems. It offers full-text search of everything on the local hard drive. Media files like images, audio, and video can be indexed as well.

The company has addressed privacy concerns by providing options to not index secure (HTTPS) web pages or password-protected Microsoft Office documents. The index created by the desktop tool can be scrambled, and multiple user accounts on the same machine cannot gain access to another user’s index.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Google Desktop Beta Gets A Sidebar
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