The Independent on Search

Charles Arthur, who writes for the UK paper, The Independent puts the Search conundrum in plain English,

Yet it’s strange that it’s a lot easier to find something on the web than on my desk; and easier to find something on the web than on my computer. You would think one would store the things that are most important in the closest, most accessible locations; after all, you don’t leave your wallet and car keys at the bottom of an unlit stairwell locked in a safe while keeping your entire wardrobe within arm’s length.

Instead, Google, halfway around the world, is the default for a lot of the horsework, looking up phone numbers, checking facts, finding references…. But why do we let computers make our lives hard for us? Partly because we”ve let them remain stupid. The graphical user interface, with its metaphors of “files and folder and desktop”, has remained unchanged since 1983 when Apple introduced it with the Lisa. . .

I believe it was Bill Gates who once admonished his developers that it was ridiculous that it took longer to find a file on a local hard disk through Windows than it did to find a document among billions on the open web via Google. This became the rallying cause behind including a SQL based file system for Longhorn.

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