Yahoo!, Google, MSN, and others are working on tools that will search PC hard drives. Such tools are designed to sift through the mountain of e-mail, downloads, and documents that people have on their computers. The idea is that it will become as easy and quick to find that old business plan or budget as it is to search for a movie review on the Web.
Microsoft, via MSN, has said it will debut a desktop search engine by the end of the year. It had better hurry - we are just three weeks away from year-end. If the plan remains on track, my hunch is it will launch next week in beta form.
Yahoo!'s desktop search tool won't run within a browser, which means that desktop searches are separate from Web searches. The Minute thinks this sounds sensible. If I know the information resides within my PC, why would I want to go to the Web to search for it? I wouldn't.
How will Yahoo! and the others monetize desktop search?