Ask Jeeves Introduces Yet Another Desktop Search Tool
Ask Jeeves yesterday joined Microsoft in introducing a beta desktop search application. Ask Jeeves states that its Desktop Search makes it easy for people to find information on their computers or the Internet. Upon installation of the small (750K) application, Ask Jeeves Desktop Search creates an index of the information stored on a person’s computer. This process enables users to search by file name, as well as by file content. The application currently supports a wide range of file types, including Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), simple text files, Microsoft Outlook email messages, and image, music, and video files. Ask Jeeves Desktop Search constantly monitors the computer (with minimal impact on system resources) for new and deleted files and email messages
“Ask Jeeves Desktop Search extends our world-class technologies and user-centric approach to search beyond the Web, to the information located on people’s computers,” said Jim Lanzone, senior vice president of search properties at Ask Jeeves. “Ask Jeeves Desktop Search will complement our recently-introduced MyJeeves(TM) personal search service and is an important step in our personalization strategy. We look forward to receiving feedback on the beta release, as we continue to develop the product in line with people’s needs.”
Ask Jeeves Desktop Search includes the following features:
* Flexible Search: Like searching the Internet, users simply type key words into a search box to let Ask Jeeves Desktop Search scour their computer for matching results. Users can narrow their searches by selecting categories like Office Documents, Music, Pictures, MyJeeves, News and others, or they can sort results by a variety of parameters. Controls are also provided for users to define how much of their computers they want Ask Jeeves Desktop Search to index, as well as the speed (and thus the amount of bandwidth devoted) with which they want it indexed.
* User-Centric Design: Ask Jeeves Desktop Search is very simple to learn and use. The program takes search beyond the paradigm of 10 blue links and returns results in a two-panel interface where previews are displayed for easy review. (This is especially useful for browsing photos and email messages.) Users will also find a search box conveniently added to common Windows file dialog boxes, such as Insert/File or File/Open, where the process of finding files is frequently required.
Ask Jeeves expects to add new functionality prior to the formal launch of the product in 2005. Some of these features include expanded support for Outlook, integration of desktop results and Web search results, and PDF support. A Feedback menu is provided directly on the application interface to make it easy for users to submit comments and requests for new features.