Google Deskbar's pretty neat, but as usual from Google, the neat stuff is only available for Windows users, and is actually tied to IE (think Google Toolbar and PageRank.

Anyway, it's convenient to search straight from the desktop, and if you're like me, you do lots of searches with Google. It does, however, mean that you're using IE to browse your searches - depending on your preferences, that may be a good, bad or "I don't really care" thing.

You may also have noticed I quoted Google in using double quotes when I say "without opening a browser". That's because the mini-viewer uses IE, and it actually does "open" a browser - there is a noticeable delay as the Deskbar revs up IE the first time I do a search. Of course, that entirely depends on your definition of the word "open".