Will Vista's search upend Google Desktop?

Is Vista's desktop search good enough to supplant Google's Desktop search? Apparently the Vista search bandwagon is filling up.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Is Vista's desktop search good enough to supplant Google's Desktop search? Apparently the Vista search bandwagon is filling up.

In a research note dated Feb. 26, Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdhry said his informal consumer checks indicate that new Vista users "like the interface and accuracy of Microsoft Desktop Search. They were using Google Desktop search before."

Chowdhry's comments echo some of the ZDNet reviewers who have cited Vista search as an advantage. For instance, George Ou calls Vista search the new operating system's killer feature.

Ou reports: "I find myself using the search feature tens of times all through the day when I had hardly used search more than once a week on Windows XP."

Ed Bott reports:

Yes, you have lots of third-party desktop search options for Windows XP. I've tried them all and never found one that was reliable enough for daily use. What makes Vista's search so useful is the fact that it's integrated directly into the operating system, so you can search in the Start menu, in Control Panel, in Explorer windows, and in common dialog boxes. I miss this capability most when I sit down at a Windows XP machine and try to find a specific Control Panel option. It also just works. I haven't had to rebuild indexes or mess with search settings on any Vista PCs in my office.

Chowdhry's comments in the Feb. 26 note were similar to those made a few days earlier. The difference this time is that Google Desktop Search potentially losing share to Vista is put into a broader perspective of negatives the analyst compiled. He argues that Google shares are pricey because the company's new initiatives--notably Answers, Metro WiFi and Froogle--are failing to get traction. Google Web search dominance remains.

It's unclear how large Chowdhry's sample size was or whether his early thesis about Google Desktop Search losing to Vista is valid. But given the comments from Bott and Ou it's clear that Vista's desktop search has some mojo and merits watching.

Chowdhry also adds that Google Maps may suffer from the launch of Vista. "Microsoft is moving fast to adopt and deliver Web 2.0 products and technologies. Contacts tell us that Microsoft has included Atlas Toolkit, including Microsoft's Virtual Earth API's in Visual Studio to ease development of Web 2.0 Mashups," said Chowdhry.

The overall thesis is that people who used Google Gadgets on XP will start using Microsoft's Vista gadgets.

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