Monday, August 22, 2005

New from Google

Today Google has introduced a new product, Google Sidebar, as part of version two of its still-in-beta-testing Google Desktop Search. Here's the 4-1-1 according to today's WSJ:

Sidebar presents consumers with a pane of customized information -- such as weather forecasts, stock quotes, news headlines, text feeds from favorite Web sites, photo slideshows and email alerts -- that sits alongside whatever else the user is viewing. It provides some functions similar to Yahoo's popular MyYahoo customized Web-page service.

Significantly, Sidebar, which is available starting today at Google's Web site, includes a text-editor function, which allows consumers to type and save text notes. That feature, and future Sidebar add-ins, could provide a starting point for an attack on Microsoft's Office software franchise, which includes the ubiquitous word-processing software, Microsoft Word. Another add-in to Sidebar allows users to track "to do" lists, a function included in Microsoft's Outlook software.

I think I'm becoming a Google groupie. Here's a short list of their products I use frequently: Gmail, Google Search, Blogger, Google Desktop Search, Google Maps, Hello and Picasa. As of today, you can add another one to the list.

UPDATE: Ironically, a quick check of the top news stories on the customizeable Google News (how could I have forgotten that off the above list!?!) yielded some more information via USA Today:

Google Desktop 2, available Monday as a public beta test, is the company's latest volley against Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. as all three race to expand their presence on PC desktops.

The latest Google offering includes several twists. Beyond providing search results, it monitors the user's behavior and presents relevant information in a resizable and moveable vertical window called the Sidebar.

One module aggregates e-mail messages from a variety of accounts, including Google's Gmail service or the user's Internet provider. Others display stock prices, personalized news headlines, weather reports and what's popular on the Web.

Another module pulls Really Simple Syndication feeds from Web sites that have been visited and offer that service. Unlike other feed aggregators, the user need not take any action for a feed to be of its users surfing habits back to Google.

Sure, I just set up my Bloglines account last week and now it seems like all that work was for naught. Serves me right for waiting this long I suppose.


Anonymous J said...

Very Cool. I signed up for a flickr feed in the photo spot so I can check out the most random photos in the universe all day long :-) .

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out google earth also, type it in google and DL it, its very cool! Eitan

11:32 AM  

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