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So there was a lot of hoopla on Digg earlier today about a new version of Quicksilver for OS X. I figured I would finally give it a try. I've been using LaunchBar forever (longer than Quicksilver has been around, actually) and already paid for it, so my only real incentive for switching to Quicksilver is “because everyone else is using it.”

So, it may just be me, but I don't find it as usable as LaunchBar. Sure, you can type the first few letters of an application or contact to bring it up–that's expected. The thing I couldn't figure out how to do (and it may not even be possible) is internet searches. For instance, with LaunchBar, I can type Command-Space, type IMDB (actually, just “IM” because it learns what I use the most), hit space to confirm, then type in a term. It then opens the default browser to an IMDB search (basically, a URL with a wildcard replaced with my search term.) The same is true for Wikipedia, Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com, Amazon.com, etc. I did notice that Quicksilver can go to a bookmark, but with no search term substitution that I could find. It also has a text entry mode (Command-Space, period, type some text, then hit tab), but there wasn't much in that list of actions that I could do.

So, I guess the questions to you Quicksilver users out there are: Am I missing something? Is this impossible without writing a special plugin? Did I overlook the right plugin for this sort of stuff? For now, I'm not seeing anything that Quicksilver provides that LaunchBar doesn't (quite the contrary.) Quicksilver is more visually slick, but LaunchBar is more unobtrusive. It also subscribes to OS-level events for filesystem changes (like the /Applications folder) to know when to rescan, rather than having a preference like “every 10 minutes,” which is useful when installing new stuff.

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