While there is no apparent bottom line yet to be seen in the new desktop search frenzy, the motives are by no means altruistic. Recent studies show that users feel little attachment to search engines after they locate the initial information they are searching for. However, users are often very much in touch with their desktops, personalizing their backgrounds, customizing screen savers, not to mention the countless hours spent using its applications to complete office tasks or schoolwork.
Bringing search engine technology to the desktop and positioning it as a helpful tool in locating and organizing desktop applications is a step in the direction of forming that connection with users that the search engines by themselves were unable to achieve and converting that into loyalty to a particular search engine, as well.
Some suspect — and fear — that using desktop search tools will eventually allow search engines to track users’ interests by logging the contents of their desktops and charging advertisers to market to them accordingly. Others fear that the search engines could be making deals with associations such as the Recording Industry Association of America to catch illegal downloaders in the act.