I downloaded the Google Desktop application yesterday, and had extremely high hopes for it. It promises to be Spotlight for Everybody; instant search of everything on your hard drive, with background idle-time indexing, and including indexing through Outlook mail. Who wouldn't want that?!?! So I downloaded the beta.
Let me start with mad props to the team for making it responsive and non-intrusive. The indexing doesn't get in the way of other work, and the search is fast fast fast.
Now for the bad parts. The lesser bad part is that, right now, you have one choice for display of results. Namely, Google-style HTML at ten hits per page. No option for even increasing that number to something useful like, say, 100, or dumping to XML for alternate formatting. I'll give them a pass on this, because its beta, and UI stuff always seems to come last.
What's much more harmful is that fact that you have to install the thing with Administrative privileges. Well, ok, I have to install a LOT of things with Admin privileges. Its bad, but not a showstopper. Worse still, it has to RUN with Administrative privileges. That's just lame, folks. The application WILL NOT RUN unless you launch it from an Administrator account. Which means, for those of us good citizens who actually spend their lives writing code in a non-privileged account, not only can I not launch the app as me, but when I launch it as Admin, it FAILS TO INDEX MY EMAIL. See, it uses the launching credentials to determine which mailbox to index, and my Admin account has never even opened Outlook, so it is missing the thousands and thousands of messages that I would really love to search quickly (since Outlook search sucks so bad).
I have (had) a lot of faith in the team at Google. They've done some incredible work and seem to be fast, bright and with it. But this is just lame. Its only beta, though. You can fix it, guys!