It’s almost as if this were a major presidential election story, with all the press it got yesterday: Google has launched a desktop search tool. Once you set up the software download, it indexes your computer for certain types of files, including e-mail, .TXT, HTML, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, AOL instant messages, and more. Whenever you want to look for something on your computer, just click the Google Desktop icon in your system tray, and you’ll see the familiar Google interface. One of the interesting things about the Google Desktop is that when you run a regular Internet search for information, the search results will also include items on your PC that match your search terms.

Everybody and their dog reviewed the new search product, and Danny Sullivan has a longer review at Google Desktop Search Launched. I was initially concerned that Google Desktop Search didn’t include PDF files in its index, but Danny’s review assures me that it does.

Update: CNet reviewed six desktop search programs, and declared the Copernic Desktop Search the winner.

Another Update: PC World weighs in on privacy concerns.