Desktop search and Linux

I must be under-estimating the user demand for "desktop search." It seems like all the major players are striving to create a desktop search solution.

I must be under-estimating the user demand for "desktop search." It seems like all the major players are striving to create a desktop search solution. For example, this ZDNet piece goes into detail about Apple's Spotlight desktop searching software, and several of the competing technologies under development from Google, Microsoft and others.

The Beagle Project, however, is not mentioned. Beagle is a desktop search tool that will, as the Beagle Project puts it, "ransack your personal information space to find whatever you're looking for." A sample screenshot shows what's in store. Right now, Beagle supports a number of filetypes, including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, and others. It also supports IM/IRC conversations and e-mail.

Like many of the other projects, Beagle is still under heavy development. Knowing the GNOME community, however, it's quite possible that Beagle will be ready for prime time long before Microsoft's Longhorn. Longhorn isn't due until, at the earliest, 2006. I wonder whether this will make any difference at all in the battle for the desktop.

Is desktop search a "killer app" for desktop users, or just another feature? I've always been content with "find" and "grep," so I'd be curious to hear what other users have to say about it.

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