Google Inc. on Wednesday launched an enterprise desktop-search product that the company says includes corporate-level security features.
Google, which has come under fire from privacy advocates for some of its consumer products, said the corporate application, available for download at no charge, gives IT administrators control over the product's communication with Google servers.
Google software often transmits performance data and information related to searching that's aggregated to determine usage patterns by users as a whole, note individually. The latter feature is not part of the enterprise product.
"All of that communication can be restructured or blocked by the group-policy administration (tool)," desktop-search product manager Matthew Glotzbach said.
Because the product works through a Web browser, whatever corporate policies are in place on Internet usage is not compromised by the software, Glotzbach said. In addition, indexing files created by the software in order to find content on a user's PC are encrypted to prevent hackers from using the information.
Corporations can also disable the automatic update feature, and sign up for alerts when updates are available, Glotzbach said.
Google's desktop-search products can scour Microsoft Word and Excel and Adobe PDF files, as well as cached Web sites, AOL Instant Messaging sessions, and the contents of Microsoft Outlook mailboxes. The corporate version can also search IBM Lotus Notes mailboxes.
The new software can be integrated with Google's enterprise search appliances and used as a search tool for corporate intranets, Glotzbach said.
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