Yahoo Desktop Search, long awaited is finally out. It allows you to search for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, Outlook, Outlook Express, HTML, text, ZIP, PhotoShop, Illustrator and over 200 other file types. All of them are viewable in the Preview Pane in Yahoo! Desktop Search. This reminds me of X1 deskop search. Yahoo has earlier entered into a partnership with X1, an IdeaLabs product.

Yahoo! desktop search has a built-in viewer and you can view search results as quickly as you can type with your search terms highlighted. The file preview looks exactly as they should look (e.g., Excel looks like Excel, PDF looks like PDF). You can even play audio files without the need of an external player.

Unlike rival applications, Yahoo's software lets people sort and refine query results within seconds by merely typing a letter or two into one of several linear search boxes, which include file size, name and date/time.

Since Yahoo supports text search, you can even use to search inside your source code files like *.c, *.cc. YDS ensures your privacy by not indexing your Web browser history. You can even save your favorite searches for one-click reuse. Yahoo! Desktop Search provides you with an indicator of its indexing progress in the bottom right hand corner of the application so you'll know when all of your files and emails are searchable.

Yahoo! Desktop Search works on PC's running Microsoft Windows XP and Windows 2000 SP3 and SP4.

YDS inherets so many features of X1 - A preview pane in the search interface lets users look at the contents of the file without opening it; search terms are highlighted in the preview. All files can be launched from within the search interface; audio and video content can be played without launching a media player. I am wondering why would someone buy X1 if Yahoo! gives all those wonderful features for free ? I see that X1 supports Eudora and Netscape Mail clients also but YDS support only Outlook and Outlook Express.

X1 would definitely have a tough time convincing buyers to pay for their X1 desktop search product when YDS, which carries most of the essential and best features of X1 is available for free. X1 folks will be well aware of this situation and may have different plans altogether. Maybe, they would now focus on enterprise search. For this reason, just days before YDS beta was due, X1 released their X1 Workgroup Edition that includes all the capabilities of X1's desktop search product but further enhanced to include shared network solutions. It has enhanced data security options and extensible to include custom sources of data.

Yahoo has acknowledged that the beta product has one data security issue. It will index and display as search results e-mail that's been archived into a password-protected file will be indexed and displayed in the preview pane. The company promised to fix the bug in a subsequent release.

If you have any questions related to YDS, they have a nice FAQ for you here.

Download Yahoo Desktop Search Beta here. (7.5 Mb File)

A small warning For users currently running X1, Yahoo! recommends you not to install both the products. First un-install X1 and then install Yahoo! desktop search.

My Verdict: There is absolutely no need to buy X1 when Yahoo! gives you all the best things for free !!. Thank you Yahoo! And I am sure they will keep improving the product which is already so impressive. For those folks who are skeptical of Google privacy concerns, swith to YDS! now.