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Just in case Apple's computer users were feeling left out, news reports say that Google intends to develop its Desktop Search application for the Mac platform. Of course, that's assuming that said Apple junkies even want it that bad, what with privacy concerns of late. And if they do, they shouldn't hold their breath.
Although Google's gotten past the Gmail privacy flare-up last spring, it seems that some people may be finding the ability to search their entire desktops less functional than creepy.
After all, the technology not only hands you a snapshot of your desktop but also creates a trail of recently visited Web sites and documents, and maybe most disturbing, it also "taps" your IM conversations, in that it searches within those dialogues too. (Why would I use such an incendiary word as "taps"? For many people, instant messaging applications such as those provided by Time Warner's America Online are perceived as more similar to the telephone because of their quick, casual, and conversational elements, as opposed to correspondence such as email, which more strongly resembles the letter-writing form.) Maybe it just takes some getting used to, but there seems to be something a little uncomfortable about seeing a sloppily typed and emoticon-filled IM conversation as data, even if it's used principally for work.
News reporters harvested the information from a University of California-Los Angeles conference that commemorated the 35th anniversary of the Internet. Google CEO Eric Schmidt responded in the affirmative about Desktop Search worming its way into Apple.
The news is really neither here nor there. Apple users tend to be extremely loyal, so Schmidt's answer may have been a bit politically correct. The news reports said that Schmidt did not provide a timeframe, given the fact that Mac's operating system is so different from Microsoft Windows that this endeavor would require working from scratch. Meanwhile, last summer Gartner said that Apple users represented only 2.8% of all computer users.
So it's not hard to imagine that a Mac Desktop Search Attack would fall to the bottom of Google Labs' priorities.
Think about it, though, and there are other far more pressing questions to ask of Google. Such as, what the heck's with that Keyhole acquisition, anyway? (Speaking of privacy concerns.) And when's Gmail going to "officially" launch? Are there too many wrinkles left to be ironed out? (Gmail has been in beta testing since April. It's still not included in Google's products page, and furthermore, it seems that everybody on earth who wants a Gmail address already has one.)
And then there's the fact that Google stock has been trading just shy of $200 a pop, stirring serious valuation concerns for some investors (but, obviously, not all). Letting Apple users search their desktops will likely create some Google-ish good will from a small but loyal pocket of techie enthusiasts (if privacy concerns don't get the better of them), but it certainly won't make Google shares seem any more of a bargain in the process.