Novell plans to release Linux Desktop 10, which the company thinks will be appealing to business users and consumers, in 2006. Novell's Linux Desktop is based on SUSE LINUX. The company acquired SUSE in November 2003, shortly after its August 2003 acquisition of Linux-based OS maker Ximian. One highlight of the upcoming Linux Desktop 10 is the Beagle desktop search tool.
Beagle is the brainchild of Nat Friedman, cofounder of Ximian. Friedman says that Beagle was necessary to help drive Dashboard, a tool that Novell is developing that can locate and display objects on the desktop (see the first URL below). For example, if you're using Instant Messaging (IM) to chat with someone about a particular project, Dashboard will locate items such as email, bookmarks, and documents that are related to that project.
Beagle indexes documents, email, Web history, IM and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) conversations, images, music files, source code, and more, including widely used file formats such as Microsoft Office Word and Microsoft Office PowerPoint files, MP3 files, and JPEG and Portable Network Graphics (PNG) images. You can learn more about Beagle at the project site (see the second URL below), where you will also find screen shots.
Although the search engine is designed to run on Linux, Fredrik Hedberg is porting Beagle to Windows platforms. If you're willing to jump through a few hoops, including installing GTK# for Microsoft .NET Framework and Gecko#, you can take Beagle for a spin on your Windows machine. You can read more about the Windows port in the Gnome mailing list archives (see the third URL below).