Google Desktop 5 released

Upgraded consumer and enterprise editions feature enhanced looks and functionality, in the first post-Vista upgrade

Google has released its latest version of Google Desktop, which incorporates a new look and new features.

The application involves a sidebar for the user's desktop environment, including a variety of "gadgets", or mini-applications, designed to display a range of functions, including the time, photos and stock prices. Vista, the latest version of Windows, offers similar functionality to the desktop sidebar, but Google Desktop 5 appears to have taken the concept further.

The new version now includes previews of desktop search results and warnings for websites that may contain malware. It is visually more enhanced than its predecessors and Windows Vista's version, in that it samples the user's desktop wallpaper to set the colour for its own theme. Some popular gadgets have also been redesigned.

The enterprise edition of Google Desktop, which allows enhanced functionality, such as centralised control of employees' gadgets, encryption and intranet search results, also benefits from Google Desktop's upgrade. So too do speakers of Hindi, now included in Google Desktop for the first time, alongside 28 other languages.