Gartner had earlier warned that companies shouldn't use the new Google Desktop Search tool because of security concerns and a lack of features. "Google Desktop Search has great potential for business use. Its security problems and lack of corporate-ready functions, however, make it unsuitable for widespread use right now."

Google was quick to react to Gartner's report and released an updated version with better privacy settings. Anick Jesdanun compares the privacy issues of the three main programs:

Google stands out in recording Web sites you've visited. Say you saw an interesting article but could no longer find it on the Web. Google's program can retrieve it from your computer, even if you had never saved it. That feature cuts both way, however: Perhaps you DON'T want your computer to remember everything you've ever browsed - especially if you've been goofing off at work.

Yahoo is a bit better than MSN - Yahoo won't record any IM chats by default, and like Google, it lets you exclude certain file types from indexing.

All three programs handle the basics well, so your choice may ultimately come down to what e-mail and IM programs you use and whether you care about Google's retention of deleted files.