Google Sidebar Tops Apple Dashboard

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A Gartner analyst finds lots to like about Desktop 2, and favors it over the widgets of Yahoo and Apple.

Search is key, and integrated search in the latest Google Desktop 2 gives users an improved experience on the desktop, according to a report on Silicon.com. Desktop 2 offers several modular components for search, email, news, RSS feeds, photos, and other information displays.

The article on Silicon.com makes the comment that the tool is “a step forward” for Google over the widget focus of Apple’s Dashboard and Yahoo’s Konfabulator, and notes Gartner’s previous criticism of Google’s first desktop search tool, saying it was not secure enough for corporate uses. But now Google seems to be addressing the question of security better.

Access controls seem to have been the big concern; an executive using the Desktop tool may inadvertently make her expense reports available for anyone to peruse, for example.

Personal security may be a different issue. Like all of Google’s services and tools, every action a user takes can be logged by the search engine. The latest Desktop does this, as Google chases the relevance issue for users. By learning the context in which a user browses the Web, Google can make the functions of its tools more useful.

Privacy advocates have found much to criticize about Google, mostly from the volumes of information it absorbs into its index, not to mention the complete lack of any oversight on how the company uses the information it gathers.

It isn’t a matter of just not using Google anymore, because everyone uses Google. And if the search engine collects information about a person even at one remove, it’s going in the index whether the person likes it or not.

In the article, Gartner search engine analyst Allen Weiner thinks Google will address the security issues. “I believe that within the context of the organization it is dealing with the issue fairly,” he said.

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

Google Sidebar Tops Apple Dashboard
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