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Google has updated its desktop search tool, which is one of the most important piece of software for the Internet giant.

The desktop search tool, unlike the Google search box used to trawl the Internet, is a piece of software that sits on a user’s computer and accesses its files, as well as Web searches, chat sessions and e-mails sent and received while using that computer. “This is our flagship desktop application and very core to our mission of enabling access to information and making it available everywhere,” says Sundar Pichai, group product manager with Google.

The desktop search tool was launched in late 2004 and was recently incorporated into the Google Pack, a collection of free software users can download onto their computers that was launched last month. The bundle includes offerings from Symantec,  Adobe Systems,RealNetworks, Cerulean Studios and LavaSoft AB.

The desktop search tool is also reportedly one of the pieces that Dell is considering shipping with all of the new computers it sells during the next three years. Inclusion of desktop search on a new computer would likely serve to increase its use.

Pichai declined to comment on Dell or give download information for the desktop search tool, but he said he was very pleased with adoption-to-date of the product.

The primary updates for the third version of the desktop search tool allow users to search multiple computers, includes enhancements to a sidebar feature that holds customized and personalised information from Web sites and e-mail, a search lock, and the ability to share content from the sidebar with others.

“The goal is for this to be a photographic memory of your information,” Pichai says.

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