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Google Desktop 5 speaks 29 languages

Multilingual Google hopes to search everything

Google has taken a step closer to being able to search everything: its desktop search application is now available in 29 languages, including Hindi, the company announced.

Seven weeks after launching the English-language version of Google Desktop 5, the company localised the software in 29 languages, including French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese, Russian - and Hindi, the first time a version of the application has been offered in that language.

Google Desktop 5 is an application for Windows Vista, XP or 2000 that, once installed on a PC, can be used to search the hard disk for documents using an interface similar to that of Google's internet search engine. Like its internet counterpart, it can be used to preview the contents of documents without having to launch the application used to create them. Version 5 also includes updated "gadgets", small applications that can display new email, weather forecasts, diary entries or a to-do list.

The company faces renewed competition on the desktop since Microsoft's introduction of new desktop search functionality in Vista, its latest Windows upgrade. Microsoft also offers desktop search for Windows XP as a free download.

With Version 5, Google tried to play on users' fears about the security of Microsoft's browser and OS, introducing an early warning system designed to protect users from phishing attempts and websites harbouring malicious code.

Google Desktop was itself the subject of two warnings by security researchers in February. However, Google software engineer Xiyuan Xia gave no indication in his posting to the official Google Desktop blog on Thursday whether the new localized versions patch all the reported flaws.

Google also released a version of the desktop search application for Apple's Mac OS X operating system three weeks ago.

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