Google has begun to shore up the desktop search software for enterprises. The beta version, for example, was able to index password-protected Microsoft Office files. But the full Version 1.0 release, launched Monday, keeps password-protected files out of the index by default. Also in the full release, IT managers can block users from installing Google Desktop Search if they use the Microsoft Group Policy Service. Google added a flag in its desktop application to respect the policy-based management feature of Windows, Bhatla said.Enterprise features could become more important as users gain more exposure to the growing number of free desktop search tools. Googles top competitorsYahoo Inc., Microsoft Corp.s MSN division and Ask Jeeves Inc. all have unveiled test versions of desktop search.Meanwhile, enterprise search vendors such as Autonomy Corp. plc and specialized vendors such as ISYS Search Software and Coveo Solutions Inc. make desktop search tools specifically for organizational use. Click here to read more about the holes desktop search can reveal. "What we have to get to is a recognition that these tools, to some degree, are inevitable," OGrady said. "People want, and in many cases, require the ability to search effectively for the information they have stored locally." He suggested enterprise IT departments begin examining the tools more closely and weigh the benefits of using them against the likelihood for easier access to sensitive information. They must decide whether they need to use policy servers, centrally administer the applications or lock down PCs. IT managers also should account for the hardware requirements of desktop search. The applications use about a gigabyte of hard-drive space for the search index and consumer processing power to refresh the index, OGrady said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on enterprise search technology.