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Google Launches Enhanced Desktop Software

     
4:56 am on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Google is releasing a new piece of software that could challenge both Microsoft and Yahoo, on various levels.
The free program, known as Sidebar, presents consumers with a pane of customized information -- such as weather forecasts, stock quotes, news headlines, text feeds from favorite Web sites, photo slideshows and email alerts -- that sits alongside whatever else the user is viewing. It provides some functions similar to Yahoo's popular MyYahoo customized Web-page service.

Wall Street Journal [online.wsj.com]

Reuters [today.reuters.co.uk]

[edited by: engine at 11:28 am (utc) on Aug. 22, 2005]
[edit reason] links [/edit]

5:41 am on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The part that bothers me about their Desktop Search 2 as stated in their privacy policy is:

Google Desktop uses the same cookie as Google.com and other Google services. If you enable Advanced Features, the Google cookie will be included in the information sent to Google. We may be able to make Google services work better by associating this information with information from other Google services you use and vice versa.

Now why the hell do they want to relate my offline information with online activity and vice versa. Isn't this similar to what DoubleClick unsuccessfully tried to do a few years ago?

11:14 am on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Now why the hell do they want to relate my offline information with online activity and vice versa. Isn't this similar to what DoubleClick unsuccessfully tried to do a few years ago?

I'm guessing that they are interested in improving personalized search results. If you access a lot of documents on your computer about Lindy Hop (swing dancing), then if you type "swing" into Google's regular online search, you'd be more apt to get dance links rather than pr0n related stuff.

Or visa versa; do a lot of searches relating to apple computers online, then when you search for "apple" on your desktop, it will prioritize the computer-related hits over the "apple a day" quotes or nutrition articles.

11:15 am on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Here's a portion of what the article in the Chicago Sun Times [suntimes.com] says about it:

Some features, including personalized news, involve sending details of its users surfing habits back to Google. Google said no personally identifying data is transmitted, and users can opt out.

The Beta of Release 2 is being released today, but I wonder what the default setting for that will be.
11:21 am on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tropical_island is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Will our existing Desktop Search update automatically or will we have to download it again?
11:24 am on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Here's the download page for it

Google Desktop 2 [desktop.google.com]

There are some new options with optional features, I'd imagine the conditions would need to agreed to.

[edited by: engine at 11:31 am (utc) on Aug. 22, 2005]
[edit reason] fixed url [/edit]

11:58 am on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member




Privacy was the first thing that came to mind.

Soon you can wear special air-conditioned hats free by G, only they have live feed cams and gps in each one. Heh.

Google is the mother of all data and it gives them so much power. Truley amazing. Over time the company will be able to venture into so many different businesses based on the data it has collected from all of these types of services. Even if they were told to get out of the SE game they would be able to make it in so many ways.

Go G, wish it was my company :o)

12:04 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



For me the privacy issues are not a problem yet... maybe they are using it or going to use it in a good way? I think we'll just have to wait.

Someone here said a long time ago that Google had no chance against MS in the OS enviroment (Imagine the resources needed to do so). What I think is that Google doesn't want to compete against the OS, but rather concentrating in making a desktop to run on top of the OS and making the MS desktop uninteressting, possible? I bealive so, they don't need a lot of ressources to do so, and they have a hughe costumer (fan) base...
I'm thinking right now in Linux, how you can choose between KDE or Gnome.

What I also found interesting is how they called it side bar, isn't windows vista going to have a sidebar too?

Google keeps impressing me and keeps the web talking, incredible how they do it...

Regards
Steven

12:12 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Google said no personally identifying data is transmitted, and users can opt out.

Okay, so no personally-indentifiable data is transmitted. But if it uses the same cookie as Google Personalized Search, Gmail, AdSense, AdWords, etc., then it would be very easy for them to tie that non-personal transmitted data with the personal information provided to them with when signing up for other services.

I can get all those same features through Firefox extensions. Thanks Google, but I'll pass on this one.

All the features except desktop search - I use other software for that though.

12:27 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



You can turn that stuff off (er, it might be off by default... I don't recall... it's nearly 5:30am my time... eeek!)

There's a checkbox next to "Enable advanced options" and if you click on the advanced options link, you can learn more:

By using advanced features, you may be sending information about web sites you visit and non-personal usage information to Google.

The web sites you visit are used to make some features of Google Desktop available to you. For example, in order to personalize the news shown in the Sidebar, Google Desktop sends information on the news pages you're visiting. This does NOT tell us who YOU are. Non-personal usage data, including crash reports, is used to help improve Google Desktop. [...]

12:40 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)



Reuters:
Google is moving beyond "Coke Classic" - the basic experience of searching the Web through the browser for which it is known. In ways not always apparent to the user, Google is seeking to control more of a users' computer experience, the way Yahoo, Microsoft and America Online do

I have to agree, and I see this as making it also much harder for internet marketers to analyse traffic patterns. Knowing that a vistor came from Google is no longer of practical help in developing a coherent strategy. If the "google" visitor could have come from a web, a desktop, a TV or a mobile phone, then surely marketers need to start developing different ways to understand their user behaviour.

At the moment, we simply have CPA from Google vs CPA from other sources to help in marketing strategy, but now the information stays with G in this regard as to whether we should alter creative to suit phone users - or PC users or whatever. We need Google visitors sorted by source (other than Adwords vs non-adwords). But I doubt Google will have the incentive to supply THAT free opf charge.

1:38 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Over time the company will be able to venture into so many different businesses based on the data it has collected from all of these types of services.

It is already blatantly obvious now that G is concentrating on finding ever new ways of creating revenue for the shareholders.

Even if they were told to get out of the SE game they would be able to make it in so many ways.

Looking over the countless posts on the subject just at WebmasterWorld, G already has lost the plot in the game.

If the "google" visitor could have come from a web, a desktop, a TV or a mobile phone, then surely marketers need to start developing different ways to understand their user behaviour. ....... But I doubt Google will have the incentive to supply THAT free opf charge.

Will fall under point one and become available at 'a price' to those who can afford it.
1:47 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



With the advanced features activated it is the very definition of Spyware. Heck, why not just let Bargain Buddy install?

Even though this is blatant spyware, I bet the spyware blockers will not flag or block the advanced features from being activated. They would not want to risk retaliation from GG and get delisted.

2:12 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)



Even though this is blatant spyware, I bet the spyware blockers will not flag or block the advanced features from being activated. They would not want to risk retaliation from GG and get delisted.

I agree that it is the very definition of spyware, but I don't agree that the blockers will "let it through". Some may, but spyware is a vulnerability issue and certainly a responsible blocker will see this in such a way I think - enough to at least make it an option to block.

But in the long run, Spyware - as a concept - is here to stay under another guise. You want Google's stuff for "free"? You "pay" for it in information and being served ads that scarily know your every move.

Big Brother is in your head and he knows what you are thinking HAW HAW HAW! (Theme tune to Twilight zone in background)

2:19 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



It just isn't good enough being a good search engine anymore is it?
2:56 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Read it very carefully, there is a hint in there that they may be releasing a long rumored instant messenger this week.
3:03 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>>hint in there that they may be releasing a long rumored instant messenger this week.

Great place to run Adwords - but how could that be targeted? Kind of tickles the imagination doesn't it?

3:13 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



the e-mail panel is not good. It by-passes my spam filter by showing me the 'newest' e-mail. Most of the time it is spam.

Google should let us pick the folder that e-mail come from.

I've now removed the e-mail panel.

Paul

3:15 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



WOW!

Check out the Adsense Sidebar Status Plug-in!

3:17 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member trillianjedi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Great place to run Adwords - but how could that be targeted? Kind of tickles the imagination doesn't it?

Presence.

It more than tickles the imagination though - it's a no-brainer, google have to do it.

They better buy RIM before MS do.

TJ

3:30 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tropical_island is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



The AdSense monitor is really great although it's a little slow in updating.

Twice I've had to go into the actual page before it would give me the latest numbers.

For the rest it's just great. I added the system monitor plug-in just to keep an eye on things.

The stock prices are handy. It will take a while to get used to it but my first impression is congrats Google.

With regard to Google and privacy issues - the difference is the level of trust you have that if they say they are not using the info individually then I, for one, believe them.

The conspiracy element will be polishing their aluminum foil hats.

4:29 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I think I'll pass.

BBC writes:

The revamped software will suggest web links, personal documents and images that might be relevant to whatever someone is doing with their computer.

Implying that the toolbar is actively engaged in two way communication with G as a person works.

Not even my wife gets that level of information about me.

WBF

4:32 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



>>> It just isn't good enough being a good search engine anymore is it?

Nope, Google gave up on that a long time ago. They noticed there was more money in becoming the worlds biggest affiliate program.

4:36 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)



>> The conspiracy element will be polishing their aluminum foil hats.

and those with their heads in the sand will do what?

4:47 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Did anyone notice that the screenshot of the quick find shows Webmasterworld as the top result for "Wor"?
5:43 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I started watching the movie Brazil last night, and although I haven't finished it yet, all this talk about information is creeping me out.
6:03 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)



>> I started watching the movie Brazil last night, and although I haven't finished it yet, all this talk about information is creeping me out.

don't worry: what your searched for, is safe, unless the government (from the local Sheriff to the FBI) asks Google for it, or Google gets hacked. Plus what's the big deal, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about. Look on the bright side, what you really want is at #1 now, instead of #3. Privacy is a small thing to give up for such huge improvements. ;)

6:06 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



This is great!

I was worried that the new MS search bar would help MS eat into Google's market share. Now I'm sitting back with a big smile on my face.

(But it's finally to start bothering with RSS.)

6:23 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I think it's great. It allows all kinds of plug ins and displays RSS feeds.

I've using this for 30 minutes now and I can definetly say that this requires atleast a 17" monitior, else desktop gets too crowded.

7:16 pm on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I've using this for 30 minutes now and I can definetly say that this requires atleast a 17" monitior, else desktop gets too crowded.

Lol, I have the sidebar on my secondary 17" monitor, that way my fatty 19" can have WinAmp/Trillian where the sidebar would be.

If you're doing web stuff then what in the world are you doing without a second monitor?! ;)

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