Google v. Microsoft

Newsweek has a story about how Google is moving in on Microsoft’s traditional turf, the Windows desktop.
How long before your use Google Write or Google Calc, applications that live in your web browser, not on your desktop and not licensed from Microsoft, as your word processor and spreadsheet?

Typically, Microsoft has not let this pass unnoticed. Steve Ballmer (aka Monkey Boy), Microsoft CEO, has vowed to “… kill Google”. An empty threat? Maybe. But the streets are littered with the remains of those who dared steal Microsoft’s fire.

Going back to Copernic

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I’m back to Copernic from Google Desktop. As I wrote a few days ago, I like the Google Sidebar, but I ran into Outlook related problems. First, when the new GDS indexed mail, Outlook removed the little envelope icon in the system tray that indicates new mail has arrived. Second (and more important), our voicemail system is integrated with Outlook. As GDS indexed mail on this IMAP account, new voicemails were marked as read. I could live with this within Outlook, but the integration is such that it also turns off the red light on my phone that indicates I have voicemail. It was quite a surprise to find 10 unheard messages! (My apologies if one was yours.) So, my current personal recommendation for a desktop search tool is Copernic Desktop Search.

IBM analytics include open data

IBM is working on a system described in this Infoworld article that looks through vendor records, warranty claims, websites, bulletin boards, and repair records to produce an early warning system for Navistar.

My favorite quote: “If you want to do analysis of unstructured textual data, the problem you have to deal with is that English, as people write it and speak it, is truly unstructured,” said Larry Lieberman, IBM Research’s automotive program leader. “This [software] is not just searching for words, it’s getting a semantic understanding of phrases and sentences.”

This will be a powerful tool for Navistar and a shining example of what can be done to take advantage of the information tsunami.

Google Desktop Download

Since I wrote about Google Desktop and Copernic last week and since my side-by-side comparison a couple of months ago, there’s a new version of the Google Desktop. It’s been running on this machine for a few hours and has completed indexing. So far, it seems as complete as the Copernic index. The new Google Sidebar is like having a smarter version of the Google Personal Home Page up all the time. When, oh, when will there be a version of GDS for Linux?