Yesterday’s Thoughts

August 25, 2005

Google Desktop and E-mail

In all the hype over Google Desktop, for example in the New York Times, Slashdot and Ars Technica, I am surprised that no one has noticed that it hijacks your browser and internet connection settings, and more or less hoses Firefox extensions.

Before installing the Google Desktop, clicking on a mailto: link in Internet Explorer or Firefox would open up a new e-mail in my desktop e-mail client. After installing, the new e-mail is in gmail in my browser. Interestingly, when I click on the link in IE, it continues to open gmail, but in Firefox (my default browser.)

There is no indication in my Internet Settings that my mail client has changed.

Worst of all, the redirection continues even after I shutdown Google Desktop.

I can’t immediately see anyone else having exactly this problem. I can see a pages asking for this feature in GDS 1.0 and pages describing a plugin that does this for 1.0, but nothing about this being the behavior in 2.0

Note later: When I open Thunderbird, it asks if I want it to be my default mail application, even though the Internet Setting still say that it is. Once I click yes, mailto links go back to Thunderbird.

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