The Google PC

The Google PC.

On the Google PC, you wouldn't need third-party add-ons to index and search your local files, e-mail, and instant messages. It would just happen. The voracious spider wouldn't stop there, though. The next piece of low-hanging fruit would be the Web pages you visit. These too would be stored, indexed, and made searchable. More ambitiously, the spider would record all your screen activity along with the underlying event streams. Even more ambitiously, it would record phone conversations, convert speech to text, and index that text. Although speech-to-text is a notoriously imperfect art, even imperfect results can support useful search. []

This column is a companion to another from a few weeks ago: Google's supercomputer. Meanwhile I've been working on a story about Longhorn, for which I had long and an extremely interesting interview with Quentin Clark, the architect of director of program management for WinFS. I'd like to transcribe the whole thing to post along with the story, when it runs, but the upshot is that Microsoft is planning more and better integration between WinFS and XML — both in terms of data definition and query — than I'd previously heard, which is welcome news. [Jon's Radio]

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