Google’s Shutting Down Desktop

Well, what a bummer this news way. Google announced last week that it was stopping work on Google Desktop and a host of other programs they’re normally working on. That depresses me because I loved Google Desktop, loading it many years ago and happy once again when the latest version came out for 64-bit.

Of course I saw this coming, but was still hopeful. Just like many other programs they put out that worked well with Firefox, I knew that as they pushed their own browser more that things they were working on with the Mozilla people was going to come to the end. And if they’d added Desktop as part of their Chrome browser, I might have at least used Chrome for that.

Their reasoning is that people can search for almost anything on their computers now through our operating systems. That’s not quite true. If there was a reference to a golf program in an email I’d send 2 years ago it’s not coming up on a Windows search, and I doubt it would come up on a mac search either. However, that part of the Desktop program seemed to shut down last July anyway, and I’ve been trying all sorts of things to get it to index newer mail, all without success. Search will find things in programs, but I still need something to help me find words within my email (I use Thunderbird).

This comes on the heels of their announcement in July that they were shutting down Google Labs, which allowed people to go in and test things Google was working on, then report what they observed.

They’re also shutting down a company they purchased last year, Slide, which made games and social media apps. They gave no reason for this move except to say that all the employees of the company would be merged into Google and that the creator of the company was moving on to do some other things.

The questions are vast here. Is Google suddenly tightening their belts because they’re getting competitive pushes from other companies? Could it have something to do with G+ and all the machinations about it, including claims from some (like me) that it might be just the latest “dog” of social media? Could it be the lawsuit against they for patent violations that’s threatening their HTC line of smartphones? Or could it be that they realized their operations were getting a bit unwieldy and they want to sharpen focus on their main lines of business?

Don’t know, and I’m not sure I care. I knew nothing about Aardvark, and I never downloaded Google Pack. I will miss Desktop, and probably will kill it soon since email is my main thing. But they move on, I move on; it’s a fairly symbiotic relationship in that manner.

15 thoughts on “Google’s Shutting Down Desktop”

  1. Hi Mitch Mitchell,
    I don’t think google will do that. Google desktop is one of the most used software, and shutting it down will not be beneficial for google. Well thanks for the information.

    1. Shivam, Google IS doing it; comes from their own memo. So, that’s that it seems. šŸ™

  2. I’ve used desktop search about a year ago on my XP machine, sweet application. On 7, definitely don’t need it. I guess that probably there will be new alternative.

    1. Carl, the search function on Win 7 doesn’t go through email, at least not through Thunderbird email. I need something to handle that.

      1. Ops, absolutely correct. I didn’t think about this point. I don’t think that there is anything similar.

      2. There’s nothing similar Carl, but it seems Thunderbird does have its own search feature. What it won’t do, though, is save email that you may have deleted and one day suddenly decide you wish you could find some information from. Still, it’s better than nothing, right?

  3. Ohh no, I like Google Desktop and don’t want it gone. I have used it my entire Internet-aware life… Don’t really like Google Chrome and am not comfortable searching directly through my browser so dear Google People, please don’t take Desktop away!

  4. Damien, I loved Desktop, but I guess everything has its time. Luckily I learned last night that Thunderbird, which I use, has its own search function. It’ll do for now.

  5. Actually, Google Desktop was a massive security hazard you shouldn’t have been using at work, anyway. If it was anything like the first version I tried, it allowed people to bypass password protected websites, recover deleted content on your hard drive you may not want others to get access to, etc. and that included websites that had already been deleted from temporary internet files

    1. When you work at home and no one else touches your computer, it’s fine. I know some people had complaints that it used too much memory and slowed things down but I never had an issue with it. I think for personal use it was great.

  6. OK–I have no clue as to what Google Desktop is—don’t even know if I’m using it but I will say Google has done some pretty amazing things. I’ve signed up for Google Plus but haven’t done anything with it yet. I really must catch up to all of this new technology because it seems that by the time I do—something new comes along. Maybe you can do a webinar of how to use some of these new applications.

    1. That’s an interesting idea, Bev; have to think about that. Google Desktop was an application that would search your entire computer and email for any word you put in, and it also saved a copy of things you’d deleted. It was great, then started messing up and that was that.

  7. HM… Mitch, thanks for sharing this. You know, despite of the trouble that created by the Desktop, i think rather than shutting it down, it’d be better if Google can do something to make it better.

    1. Andrew, Google doesn’t have any real incentive to make it better since Win 7 has its own search program. It’s too bad but on the good side, we won’t have a program slowing down some computers with its constant searches anymore.

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