Google has released a new version of its Desktop tool for Windows.
Jói Sigurðsson, tech lead on the Google Desktop for Windows team, said in a blog posting that user responses to previous releases had prompted the group to set performance tests designed to measure the user experience.
Google looked at the amount of time the software spent starting up, shutting down, updating, adding gadgets and performing other basic tasks. The results helped to fine-tune this latest release, Sigurðsson explained.
Memory usage has been cut in the 5.8 release, with startup in particular falling by 50 per cent, and shutting down the tool is now about five times as fast.
Because of the number of third-party applications available, Google has added a gadget that detects when one is performing badly and affecting the user's computer. If the application is causing a problem, it will ask the user if they want it removed.
Gadgets will also be scrutinised for security, and handled in a memory efficient manner. Support for Microsoft Outlook has also been improved.
In order to further Google's exposure to the user experience, the firm will ask users to submit information about the problems that they experience when using the system. This is based on the user opting into an automatic error reporting tool.
Opting in will also let the software "detect and report situations where our product could be making your computer slow to respond", Sigurðsson said.
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