Google Releases Google Desktop 5 Beta

Google Releases Google Desktop 5 Beta

The sidebar now blends into the image on a user's desktop and the various Google Gadgets sport interface and design improvements.

Google has released a new version of its desktop search software, Google Desktop 5 Beta, featuring a new sidebar and revamped gadgets.

Like a chameleon, the sidebar now blends into the image on a user's desktop. And the various Google Gadgets, or widgets if you prefer, sport interface and design improvements.

There are two major additions: the ability to preview search results from within Google Desktop and the addition of Google's Safe Browsing malware warnings when clicking on links that Google associates with disreputable sources, whether the links are in a browser, IM, or e-mail.

Google has shown increasing concern over the prevalence of malware. Last month, it began providing Web site owners with more detailed information about URLs associated with dangerous content. It also began showing warnings about potentially harmful sites on its search results pages.

Google Desktop continues to be regarded with suspicion by some corporate IT departments because administrators see its Search Across Computers option as a security and/or compliance threat.

Search Across Computers allows users to index their local documents -- which copies them to Google servers -- and then view those documents from another Internet-connected computer, provided Google Desktop is installed on that machine. This feature can be disabled by administrators, however.

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