Google today announced the formal launch of Google Desktop Search, a free application that allows users to search for information on their own computers.

First offered last year in a beta version, today’s version 1.0 release adds search over the full text of PDFs and the meta-information stored with music, image and video files. Additional enhancements include support for the Firefox and Netscape browsers and Thunderbird and Netscape e-mail clients. It already provided searching of Outlook, Word, Powerpoint, Excel and Internet Explorer files as well as AOL instant messages.

Google Desktop Search caches snapshots of each document and Web page so users can access information even when not online or when a document has been deleted.