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Google Gets Feisty

Recent Activity Shows Battles Looming Among Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Skype

Google introduced a Sidebar panel in its online beta recently that personalizes desktop search with live information such as a real-time stock ticker, weather reports, news stories, and blog updates. It is self-learning, indexes past Internet use and is supposed to anticipate user preferences. In the process Google collects information on user behavior, reopening the confidentiality issue.

The so-called Google Desktop 2, a follow-on to the desktop search widgetry Google released last fall and borrowing from Apple's Dashboard and Yahoo's Konfabulator programs, can search network drives as well as local files and Outlook-based e-mail. The search index can be encrypted, but doing so impacts search performance.

Since third-party developers supposedly can use the Sidebar to concoct new value-added services, the widgetry reopens the door to speculation of a Google operating system. There's also a rudimentary test editor that raises the specter of a Google assault on Office on an ASP basis.

However, Sidebar stays on the desktop and so gives Google a high-profile piece of real estate and, if it gets popular, can present a serious challenge to Microsoft's browser and Microsoft as the conduit for most information.


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EOS News Desk 08/26/05 05:41:32 PM EDT

Google introduced a Sidebar panel in its online beta recently that personalizes desktop search with live information. This and other moves show that the company will be battling Yahoo, Microsoft, and now Skype for the forseeable future.