Following Yahoo!'s release of its desktop search earlier this week, Business Week now asks: Can Desktop Search Find Profits? It's answer: desktop search is a step on the road to the holy grail of search, namely universal search. (Search everything from one place.) But in the short run, there's no money it.
Desktop search is a vital defensive move for all the search companies that compete with Microsoft. There's a strong possibility that users will start all search from a single application or tool, as BW points out. But what BW fails to mention is that if Microsoft provides that application or builds that tool into Windows, then Microsoft controls Web search as well as desktop search.
And then Google, Yahoo! and Ask Jeeves will lose the revenue from PPC ads next to their own search results. So there's a lot of money in desktop search. It's the money that's already being made in Web search.
Why is it that even financial journalists don't realize that search development is now highly defensive for Google and Yahoo?