Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Will Microsoft ever give us what we really want?

A recent New York Times article talks about one of the features of Windows Longhorn (apparently so named because of the size of the ego of its developers): the ability to search both the Web and the desktop without the need for a Web browser.

The Microsoft folks believe that in the future, people will see searching the Web and searching their desktop as an integrated operation. Personally, I think this idea is pure and utter nonsense.

If I want to find some information that I'm sure I don't have, I certainly don't want to spend a full minute waiting while my operating system scans my hard drives for information that isn't there. I will just want to Google it. Similarly, if I know that it's a file on my machine, I don't want to be bothered with searching the Web.

The only time this would be at all useful is if you want to compare information stored locally on your computer to information available off the Web. Any other time, about the most "integration" of these two features that I'd care about is a button that says "search locally" versus one that says "search the Web."

So, as I asked above, when will Microsoft give us what we really want, instead of what it thinks we really want?

Update: Corrected the header, because apparently I am unable to spell challenging words like "will."


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