Windows only: Remember Quick Search Box, Google's new search-and-launch application built by the same guy who developed Quicksilver? Well, now it's available for Windows—you've just got to install Google Toolbar in IE to get it. That's right, Quick Search Box is only available to install through Google Toolbar for IE, of all things. We don't even particularly like the Google Toolbar to begin with, let alone IE. On the plus side, if QSB requires Google Toolbar, better that I install it on IE—where I never have to see it—than on a browser I might actually be using. But anyway, on to the application we're interested in.
First, the bad news. In actuality, the Windows version of Quick Search Box is much lighter on features than the Mac version. For example, you can't drill down into any search items the same way the beta of QSB for Mac does. In fact, it really can't do all that much at the moment. Now for the good news. What it can do, it does very well. QSB for Windows is a very simple, no-nonsense search box. It searches the web, and it searches for and launches applications (from what I can tell so far, it just indexes your Start menu). It's extremely fast and responsive, and it didn't use more than 15MB of memory while I was testing it. In fact, QSB for Windows is clearly more stable at the moment than QSB for Mac. Of course, functionally speaking, that's sort of like saying a screwdriver is more stable than a power drill. It's nice, but you'd still really like to be using a power drill.
We're waiting to see some serious improvements before we're ready to give QSB for Windows the same optimistic enthusiasm we've shown its Mac counterpart. In reality, QSB for Windows is very similar in feel to early versions of Launchy—with the admittedly nice addition of Google search. Still, we've seen that in Google Desktop. So while we're big fans of the QSB effort on Mac, we're so far pretty lukewarm on QSB for Windows.
On a related note, the new beta of the Google Toolbar isn't bad if you're into that sort of thing. It adds the Chrome start page too, which is cool, but if you really like Google that much, you may as well be using Chrome in the first place.