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Google plans desktop search tool for Macs

The search giant will rebuild Google Desktop from the ground up for the Mac OS. Screen shots of Google's Desktop Search tool

Google plans to release a version of its desktop search tool for computers that run Apple Computer's Mac operating system, Google's chief executive, Eric Schmidt, said Friday.

Schmidt did not set a timetable for a Mac version of Google Desktop, saying it had to be rebuilt from the ground up because of the fundamental differences between the Mac OS and Windows.

"We intend to do it," Schmidt said at a University of California-Los Angeles conference commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Internet.

Google released the desktop tool earlier this month, staking out early ground in a battle for personal-information retrieval that is expected to eventually include players like Microsoft and even Apple.

But some people raised concerns about the threat to privacy from software that could scour e-mails, instant messages and other personal threads.

"We will be very sensitive about this personal information for obvious reasons," Schmidt said.

Google parlayed its dominance in the Web search business into a blockbuster initial public offering in August. Since then, its shares have nearly doubled, and they just missed touching $200 on Friday.

Last month, when issuing its first earnings figures since becoming a publicly traded company, Google reported a third-quarter profit of $52 million.

Story Copyright  © 2004 Reuters Limited.  All rights reserved.