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Which Desktop Search Tool Is The Best?

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While the search industry continues to evolve, an area that’s received a great deal of focus has to do with creating a successful desktop search tool. This mentality has led to a proliferation of desktop search (DTS) tools. Because of this, knowing which one is better can be a best-guess/trial-and-error scenario until now.

Desktop Search
Which Desktop Search Ranks Highest?

In order to make choosing a desktop search utility easier for those concerned, the University of Wisconsin-Madison E-business Institute conducted a study titled: There’s More to Search than Google & Yahoo! An Evaluation of 12 Leading Desktop Search Tools. As indicated by the study’s name, it evaluates the usability and safety of the various desktop search tools.

To ensure their test would be considered comprehensive, the University tested the following DTS utilities:

Ask Jeeves
Blinkx
Copernic Desktop
SearchdiskMETA
ProdtSearch
DesktopEnfish Professional
Google Desktop
HotBot
DesktopISYS
DesktopMSN Toolbar
SuiteWizetech Archivarius 3000
Yahoo! Desktop Search

The DTS tools were tested against the following criteria and given a 1-5 score, with 5 being the highest:

  1. Usability
  2. Versatility
  3. Accuracy
  4. Efficiency
  5. Security
  6. Enterprise Readiness

While reading the findings, one thing immediately stood out: Copernic’s tool ranked first in 4 of the 6 criterions, while finishing second in another. These results seem to indicate Copernic is indeed the best DTS tool available. The UW E-business Institute also establishes this conclusion by saying:

Copernic is the most well-balanced desktop search tool among those evaluated. The tool is intuitive and easy to use. The new beta version supports FireFox for Web history search, and Thunderbird and Eudora for e-mail (as well as IE, Outlook and Outlook Express)

Click for criteria rankings image

However, even Copernic did not escape criticism. The study concluded Copernic would be better served by allowing users to select their default Internet search engine, instead of using Copernic’s choice (alltheweb.com). Although, if this is the biggest criticism of Copernic’s tool, they must be doing everything else correctly (or just better than their competitors).

Not only did the study anoint Copernic as the best desktop search utility, it also ranked the other tools that were tested. Surprisingly, Google didn’t represent themselves as well as one might expected (fifth place finish).

The rankings:

  1. Copernic Desktop Search
  2. Yahoo! Desktop Search
  3. Wizetech Archivarius 3000
  4. MSN Toolbar Suite
  5. Google Desktop
  6. Ask Jeeves
  7. Enfish Professional
  8. ISYS Desktop
  9. dtSearch Desktop
  10. diskMETA Pro
  11. Blinkx
  12. HotBot Desktop

Click for rankings image

While Copernic may not be their intended target, one can imagine the search engines that didn’t fare as well as expected to improve their product in an attempt to outdo their competitors. With the search engine industry becoming more and more cutthroat, studies like these should only fan the fires of one-upmanship. However, congratulations are due to Copernic for developing such a successful DTS tool.

Although, with the release of Mac’s Tiger OS featuring Spotlight (Apple’s proprietary desktop search tool) all of the tools present in UW’s study may have to move down one spot to make room for the impending champ, at least that’s what I’m hearing.

For those of us who happen to be “stuck” in the Windows environment, Copernic seems to be the logical choice for people wanting an effective DTS tool.

Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.

Which Desktop Search Tool Is The Best?
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  • Guest

    Archivarius 3000 is now available at Likasoft  www.likasoft.com

  • http://www.seethrureviews.com/Sit-Stay-Fetch-Book-Reviews.html Sit Stay Fetch Reviews

    I personally like the Google Desktop and don’t intend switch. I know that there are probably better ones but I guess the brand power got me!

  • AdamSam

    Archivarius 3000 is a very good choice.

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