Gary Stein (analyst at Jupiter Research) posts that Mamma, a metasearch engine based in Canada, just purchased Copernic, one of the leading desktop search companies.
Gary doesn't seem to think this was a very smart move by the so-called "mother of all search engines". He says, "Desktop Search has fully entered into the world of hype," and criticizes desktop search as having no business model: "No one's going to be cool with seeing ads -- contextual or otherwise -- displayed with their desktop results."
It also seems to me that, if Microsoft makes the default file and e-mail search on Windows "good enough" for most users -- perhaps by releasing MSN Desktop Search as part of Windows -- most of the opportunity for third-party desktop search applications will evaporate.
Update: Five months later, Copernic kills the deal due to a ongoing SEC investigation of Mamma.