Back to Copernic Desktop Search

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been using the new MSN Toolbar Suite of search tools since it was released.

I uninstalled it all today and reinstated Copernic Desktop Search.

While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the MSN suite per se, even though it’s still beta, there were three main things that made me decide to stop using it:

  1. I don’t need a search toolbar in Outlook. While I use Outlook, I have the NEO Pro add-on email management shell that I use for email, and which has an excellent search capability including for file attachments.
  2. Difficult to pin down fully, but I had the feeling always that with the MSN suite running, things seemed terribly slow on my PC. No constant disk thrashing (as there was with Google Desktop when I tried that out), just slow.
  3. Loads of strange ‘Warning’ and ‘Information’ entries in my Windows XP Pro Event Viewer relating to RSApp and RS Search. No idea what they are, but all those entries no longer appear now that I’ve uninstalled the MSN suite.

Plus, it all has just too many bells and whistles for me. That’s one of the reasons why I stopped using blinkx some while ago (just too much stuff) and X1 (and you have to pay for that – it’s not cheap). I posted commentary about both of these tools in November.

One thing I like about the Copernic product is that I have a little icon in my status bar plus, if I want, a toolbar in the taskbar. That’s it. It doesn’t stick stuff in Windows Explorer or in Outlook or anywhere else.

Is it better at searching than any of the others? I wouldn’t say better, exactly. As good as, definitely. And, compared to MSN and Google, it finds more file types. The only thing I don’t like is that if I search the web, Copernic defaults to using All The Web. Seems to work ok, but – perhaps paradoxically – I prefer using Google for that. There doesn’t seem to be a way to change that. But this is a small niggle.

Overall, I’m happy with Copernic and can’t see a reason for changing again.

By the way, Marc Orchant over at The Office Weblog is running a survey of desktop search tools. The top two when I looked just now: Copernic and X1.

14 thoughts on “Back to Copernic Desktop Search

  1. Neville:
    I just updated the results this morning. Copernic, x1, and Google are in a virtual tie for first (41, 38, nd 37 votes respectively) with 190 votes cast.

  2. Thanks Marc. Looks like Copernic has the edge right now.
    Interesting to see that blinkx so far has only 1% of the vote. I think blinkx is very good, but maybe that’s also its weakness: simply too much functionality if you just want to do a simple search.
    Anyway, looking forward to learning the final survey results.

  3. I find it interesting that X1 is beating everything except Copernic. If it were free, it would probably be the leader. It’s still my desktop search tool of choice.

  4. I agree with you, Shel: if it were free or, maybe more realistically, a lot less than $74.95. That’s simply far too much to pay when compared with the very good free alternatives.
    David, I saw you had a post on your blog about Gigablast which looks likes it’s impressed you a lot. Yes I know it’s not desktop search, but the desktop tools also do web search.
    So is Gigablast better than such tools in this regard?

  5. *All* of the MSN toolbar entry points are optional and can be turned off. You can turn off the outlook bar, the toolbar in IE, the toolbar in Explorer, and even the Deskbar by right mouse clicking on the toolbar area. Double-click on the MSN icon in the corner and you have the same as Copernic as far as removal of entry points.

  6. I’ve tried Blinkx, Yahoo Search (the new one, based on X1) and Copernic. Blinkx doesn’t work well on my machine with only a small amount of memory – 128 Mbytes is not enough. It also seems to have problems with systems with multiple users. Yahoo Search works OK, but has a long startup time. Copernic works fine – but I haven’t compared across machines yet. I’ll need to check the startup of Copernic on a memory challenged machine to make a fair comparison. On a 512 Mbyte machine Copernic does not significantly slow down the startup.
    I think the results will depend a bit on the power of the machines tested, and also on whether they are normally used as single user or multi-user machines. I actually like all of them when they work, but I have had most problems with Blinkx. I’ll get back when I’ve tested Copernic on a smaller machine.

  7. Well – installing Copernic on a 128 Mbyte machine seemed OK. The download is small, the installation is easy, and it starts indexing and working almost as soon as you hit the go button. It does not seem to take a long startup. It worked pretty much as well as on a faster, larger machine.
    Additionally, the interface is better than Yahoo search – you can search for a keyword in Email, and then if you want to search for the same work in Files or Music you just select the buttons. I found it easier anyway. With Yahoo you have to retype the keyword each time you change the type of search. My vote – if I can find where to make it – appears to be going to Copernic.

  8. I am looking for a good tool that searches my hard drive AND my Outlook e-mails. I loved the Copernic search.However, since I downloaded it, I cannot work offline with Outlook 2000. I get synchronization failures. When Copernic Search is uninstalled, Outlook works fine. If anyone has any suggestions or info, please respond.

  9. You should try MSN again now that it’s officially released. It’s vastly improved as far as making sure it doesn’t interact poorly w/ your machine or Outlook and note you can turn any and all of the toolbars off.

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