Google Desktop Vs. Windows Vista

So there is Windows Vista sidebar, gadgets and search and there is Google sidebar, gadgets and search. Which one is better? Actually, I think they are both good and they both suck. Windows indexing is not bad but I think it’s buggy and it crashes. I say “I think” because my Outlook 2007 crashes twice a day and I think it’s either the indexing engine or my anti-virus but I am not sure. Also, for some reason windows indexing stopped working and now I am re-building it. On the other hand, I install Google Desktop (GD) a few hours ago and it already crashed twice. Just because you label it as beta doesn’t mean it should crash. And by the way, when will any Google product get out of beta???

So in the midst of my frustration with windows indexing and Microsoft; I did the right thing and installed Google desktop. My first impressions were wow, this is pretty cool. It turned off and replaced my windows sidebar. It installed its own gadgets and started indexing right away. You can instantly access the search feature by hitting ctrl twice and start typing. Just like windows, you can launch programs, search files, search e-mails etc…

 

Windows Vista

Google Desktop

Search

   

Local files search

10

7

Outlook E-mail search

10

7

G-mail e-mail search

0

10

Outlook Calendar search

10

7

Outlook Contacts search

10

0

Outlook Tasks search

10

0

Multiple computer search

X (with foldershare)

X

Sidebar

   

Same gadget multiple times

10

0

Gadget in sidebar or desktop

10

10

Collapse gadgets

0

10

Save gadget settings remotely

0

10

Total

70

61

Search

I know this is hard to believe but Microsoft’s search is better than Google’s. Integration with office, windows, and outlook is way better than Google’s.

In outlook, Windows searches as you type vs. Google’s which opens another window and then the browser. Google’s feels like a hack, but Microsoft’s feels integrated and seamless.

Searching within windows explorer is very easy, all you have to do is start typing in the search bar on the top right of EVERY window (shortcut Ctrl-E). It starts to search immediately.

One of the best features is the ability to save a search as a “folder”. So if you wanted to create a search folder for the project “OASIS”. You can navigate to your documents folder, type oasis in the search bar and click on “Save Search” now all you have to do is navigate to the “Searches” folder to find it.

Google uses the browser to display results which I think is a horrible. They need to come up with a more user friendly and independent of the browser way to display results

You just cannot compare Google to Microsoft’s desktop search. Microsoft is better integrated, it looks better, it’s seamless and is already installed and working. On the other hand, I think Google’s is faster. There is always a second or two delay when I search with Microsoft – but that’s not enough to let me switch.

Google Search bar

Windows Vista Start Menu

Sidebars

Both sidebars are pretty good, but the one feature I like in windows is the ability to show the same gadget multiple times. For example, I display a clock gadget 4 times to monitor 4 times

Google sidebar lets you collapse gadgets to save space

One feature I love about Google’s gadgets/sidebar is the ability to save settings remotely which can keep all your notes, to-dos, etc… in sync on multiple computers.

Conclusion

To be honest, I think they are both buggy and imperfect but also very useful and indispensible. If you are running windows Vista you should definitely stick with Microsoft’s solution – it is more elegant, integrated and overall better. If you are running an older version then you should consider Google Desktop.

What do you think? Which one is better?