New Google Desktop: Konfabulator killer?

Recall that Yahoo! bought Konfabulator a few months back, and renamed the software the Yahoo! Widget engine (why take down a cool name?). This engine was reportedly what inspired Apple to implement Widgets on Mac OS X Tiger. I guess it’s cool to have single-file, standalone applications that can do almost every other trivial thing like check your RSS feeds and display your Flickr photos.

Google has released version 3 of its Google Desktop software, and it’s reminiscent of a widget system. The applets are dockable, and you can add and remove content as you please–just like how Google Talk windows work.

It’s not like widgets, though, that you can keep scattered around your desktop (or background) to recall whenever you please. Google’s applets are there, fixed on your screen, staring at your face (either that, or totally hidden from view).

Initial thoughts:

What’s with the side-docking? Don’t I have an option to dock elsewhere aside from left or right (or float the thing altogether)? I keep my taskbar docked at the right side of the screen, and I’m wasting precious screen real estate on my laptop with Google Desktop docked. My other alternatives would leave me with only the Desktop search textbox.

Cool scratchpad and todo lists. I hope there’s a way to sync with other programs, though, such as MS Outlook (for syncing with my SmartPhone) or other online notepad/calendar systems, like with Yahoo!

Slow indexing on older machines. I imagine indexing would be faster on my desktop, but with my dinosaur-class laptop, it’s been 20 minutes and the indexing status is still at 1%.

Even Gtalk can be docked. OK, anything included in this package, even other standalone Google services, can be docked along with everything else.

Weather function is cool. But there’s no option for the Philippines!

You can search across different computers. Sign in with your Google account and you can actually search for content across several computers you own.

Web clips. What the … ? Oh, I forgot I allowed Google Desktop to index my visited sites. I guess they’ll be reporting on my browsing habits to Big Brother, then.

Well, the privacy advocate in me is worrying that Google Desktop is just a glorified spyware program. But since I agreed to install it on my system, then it wouldn’t be defined as sypware, right? But the capabilities of desktop search can be scary–they’re Google, after all, and they probably know more about you (your online surfing and spending habits, your email correspondence, your Gtalk chats, your online presence) than your mother does!

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