Blinkx Desktop Search, available as a free download, earns an A for originality, but a C for usability. Like Copernic Desktop Search and X1 Search, Blinkx is hot-rod quick, displaying searches on your hard drive and Web matches as fast as you can type. For example, if you had a file on your hard drive called myfinances.doc, as you typed m, then y, then f, the list of possible matches would decrease. Problem is, Blinkx displays a pop-up summary of a document's contents rather than using a full-fledged file viewer like those found in competing search tools. The latter helps you avoid opening duplicate files by allowing you to see the contents before opening them.
That said, Blinkx can be downright clever. We particularly like its Quick Launch feature, a six-icon toolbar that attaches to the top-right corner of whatever application you're using. Quick Launch automatically finds documents and Web links related to contents of the open window. Say, for instance, you're reading this review as a Word document. When you click Quick Launch's Local Documents icon, a drop-down list would show brief, three-line summaries of related files on your PC, such as reviews of Copernic Desktop Search or X1 Search (if they exist). Click the Web icon, and Quick Launch displays a list of related pages on the Net. In our tests, the toolbar worked with Internet Explorer and Word, but not with Outlook, Works, or America Online.
Unfortunately, support for Blinkx is limited to a brief FAQ on the Blinkx site. E-mail tech support, though offered, is not easy to find. It's marked as "feedback" on the FAQ page.