I’ve used Copernic Desktop Search for years at home as my local search tool of choice. It’s always done well, and has the killer feature that it will search network drives, so my little NAS under the desk, where most of my letters and family snapshots live, can also be indexed. Fantastic. But then – along comes Copernic Desktop Search 3. A free downloadable update, and like a mug I just downloaded it. After installation, looking through the list of new features I was not actually finding any. About the most exciting was “Tweaked deskbar design for better usability”. A bit odd, I thought, why is this a whole version number different? This is hardly a new release… until we get to the end of the list. Then the reason for this upgrade is revealed. Here are the great new features…
Features now exclusive to Professional and Corporate versions: * Search Outlook appointments, tasks and notes * Display search results as you type * Index network drives
Bugger! No more network drive support! So well done, and thanks Copernic, for pretending that this nasty downgrade is actually a feature. It isn’t – it’s crippling an already perfectly good bit of software. Now, it’s only fair to point out that this isn’t freeware and Copernic are entitled to do this to their own product if they like. After all, they want to make money out of it. But surely, surely, they should have given users the option to make an informed choice. Either stick with the unsupported 2.x version, and keep the features thereof, or upgrade to 3.0 and ‘enjoy’ the new exciting nag screens telling you to upgrade at a cost of $49.95 if you want to use your own file index. Very poor service, and a big disappointment for a long-term fan of Copernic like me. I’m off to find an alternative.
UPDATE: Windows native file search from Windows 7 onwards is pretty much good enough these days. It’s not fast but it works on network drives, and if you use Windows you already have it. So you might have no need for a third-party search app.