Here’s another product that a lot of people seem to have forgotten about. Even before Vista introduced us to the concept of widgets, Google Desktop was there to let us have a virtual wall clock and notepad on the desktop. I might be alone in this, but I thought the notepad was cool, and I still use the actual Windows notepad application to jot stuff down quickly, so having something on the desktop that could do it was handy.
More importantly Google desktop does in-file searching, even on network drives; which admittedly I haven’t had the chance to try out yet. For all the talk about how built in Windows functionality is so good at search that Google had to discontinue it’s desktop application, in my opinion it’s just not true. Mind you if you’re searching for an application then the built in search is definitely the way to go. However if you’re actually looking for a file, especially if your system is a bit cluttered, good luck finding it with just what’s built in with Windows if you’re searching more than one directory and it’s sub-directories at a time.
It still works perfectly on Windows 10 too.
Maybe I’m a bit too happy about it, but it’s good seeing software that sticks around even after the company founding it has moved on. Proper software development should make something permanent, not just something that makes it’s creators a bit of cash before both the software and its customers are ditched with the bare minimum of warning. Even if support has stopped, the software keeps working, and that counts for a lot by itself.
Besides search Google Desktop also has a on-desktop notepad to take short notes, which can be detached from the sidebar and expanded as well as a basic system monitor that lets you know your processor and memory usage at a glance. Unfortunately it looks like they’ve taken down the online repositories for widgets, but the ones that come with the application still work very well.