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Byline: Gregg Keizer, TechWeb News
Google on Thursday unveiled its long-anticipated desktop application for searching through files, e-mail messages, and Web histories on the local PC, beating competitors like Microsoft and Yahoo to the punch.
Google Desktop Search, which can be downloaded free of charge from the company's Labs site, lets users retrieve e-mail from Outlook and Outlook Express, documents from Microsoft Office apps, chat sessions from AOL Instant Messenger, and Web pages viewed with Internet Explorer.
Once the local hard drive is indexed -- a process that can take hours but is done in the background …