Wednesday, December 15, 2004

MSN Toolbar - OK, but Copernic rocks!

I was trying to avoid mentioning - like everyone else - that Microsoft have just released the new version of the MSN Toolbar, currently in beta form. The big deal with this release is that they've integrated desktop search, allowing you to search all of your files on your local PC by performing a simple keyword search. Many people are comparing it, often favourably, to Google's recent offering, Google Desktop Search (GDS).

Why didn't I want to say anything? Because every man and his dog is talking about it (links courtesy of Robert Scoble). But everyone seems to be comparing it to GDS. Or they just really like it because it's from Microsoft (how the hell did Paul Thurrot achieve any credibility with the drivel on his site?). No one seems to be talking about other alternatives, in particular my favourite desktop search app, Copernic. As far as I can tell MSN Toolbar desktop search is in NO WAY superior to Copernic. And Copernic has at least the following advantages:
  • Much better UI
  • Indexes many more file types (take a look at 'em all!)
  • Has a quick preview panel
  • Has been on the market - well out of beta testing - for aaaages
  • Works well with Firefox (indexes bookmarks and history)
Can't see Microsoft providing that last dot point in a hurry... ;)

I don't understand why Copernic doesn't get more coverage, is it just because it's not from Google or Microsoft?

Anyways, if you're a Firefox user (come on, don't tell me you still use IE?!) and have Copernic , there's no reason to install MSN Toolbar, in fact it'd be a massive backward step! Even if you are an IE user don't bother with MSN Toolbar, use Copernic instead - unless you're just using it for pop-up blocking and auto form filling.

Not that MSN Toolbar isn't a bad app - it's not. It worked relatively effectively and reliably in my testing. It's just that, well, it's not as good as its competitors. And certainly not worthy of the fuss being made in the blogosphere at the moment!

[No, I don't have any affiliation with Copernic, I just appreciate well written software!]

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