Google Brings Desktop Search to the Enterprise—for Free

Going beyond the company's consumer product, Google Desktop Search for the Enterprise offers search of e-mail messages from Lotus Notes 6.5 and later and of transcripts from Lotus Instant Messaging chat sessions.

Google on Wednesday announced the release of its long-awaited enterprise desktop search product, which it will offer to business customers as a free download.

The product, known as Google Desktop Search for the Enterprise, is modeled after a similar product that Google Inc. has offered to the consumer marketplace for the past six months. It is used to search for files and documents on a users hard drive. The software supports files on systems running Windows 2000 or later.

Google Desktop Search for the Enterprise goes beyond Googles consumer desktop search product to offer search of e-mail messages from Lotus Notes 6.5 and later and of transcripts from Lotus Instant Messaging chat sessions. It also includes support for encryption of data files using Microsoft Corp.s encrypted file system technology, according to Google officials in Mountain View, Calif.

Like the consumer version of Google Desktop Search, the enterprise version also can search messages from Microsoft Outlook and from any IMAP e-mail client, officials said.

/zimages/6/28571.gifDoes Google desktop search threaten security? Click here for a column.

Google is offering a unified interface for the new desktop-search offering, Google search appliances and

"Whether I go to the Web, intranet or desktop, Im able to search all of the various information sources," said Matt Glotzbach, Google Enterprise product manager. "Its a unified, simple way to get information."

The enterprise version of Google Desktop Search also includes administrative controls so that administrators can restrict indexing of or access to files as well as block communications back to Googles server for automatic updates of the software.

Glotzbach said Google has no plans to charge for Google Desktop Search for the Enterprise.

"We didnt want to create competition amongst ourselves," he said. "We didnt want to be having companies trying to rationalize why they should buy the enterprise version rather than just downloading the consumer version for free. We do believe that will continue to drive user loyalty, and end users will use and our various online services."

Glotzbach said Google envisions IT administrators downloading the software, testing it and distributing it to their end users. End users need local admin rights to be able to install the enterprise version, he said.

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