Mainly, I was disappointed. It seemed cool enough at first, but over a short span of time, I realized that Google Desktop was absolutely useless to me. I don’t need to search my own computer with Google’s help. I’m an experienced user and intimately familiar with Windows’ file system hierarchy and organization. I actually know where all my stuff is, and what I don’t I can find using Windows search. But I thought the other features, such as hooking up to my Gmail account, news, and RSS feeds would be worthwhile.
But they weren’t. I didn’t like the email feature at all. You have to click too many times on to read an email, and I expected to be able to reply to emails from Google Desktop (not in the desktop application area, which is narrow, but in a new browser window). I was surprised to learn that I couldn’t. I wanted a way to clear or remove all the unread mail at once, but that didn’t exist. To clear them, I had to right-click on them one at a time and click remove.
I experienced frustration with the news headlines feature, as well. Google Desktop is supposed to show you headlines based on your click patterns. If a news headline doesn’t interest you, you can click a little button that says don’t show me items like this. I must have killed two hundred sports headlines, and it still never figured out that I didn’t want to read any sports stories. I would’ve rather had the opportunity to choose news by categories.
The RSS module is worthless compared to a full aggregator/reader client or service. I was astonished at how little could be done with it.
The photos part was more of a distraction while trying to do other work, but other than that, I liked that feature and thought it was pretty cool.
The weather tracker was nice, but it only showed the forecast for the next day and wasn’t configurable at all beyond entering multiple locations.
The stock tracker was a competent piece of work, and I liked the fact that if a market for the home country of a particular stock was closed, a little crescent moon icon appeared by the latest stock price.
Overall, though, I’m pretty disappointed. I know it’s a beta, and I’m sure it’ll improve over time (hopefully with some of the suggestions above). When I uninstalled Google Desktop, I was asked for feedback, which I gladly gave, requesting many of the things I mentioned above. But right now, it’s still way too immature to be useful to an experienced computer user. One intriguing aspect of Google Desktop is its Plugins capability. There are only a few plugins, right now, so it’ll be really interesting to see what developers out there come up with.