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Search, Meet Desktop. Desktop, Meet Search. MSFT, Meet Plaxo. Plaxo…

By - May 24, 2004

plaxo_logoTake a look at this deal between Yahoo and Plaxo. (Who’s on the Board of Plaxo? Yup, Ex-Yahoo CEO Koogle.)
From the the Merc:

Today Plaxo integrates Yahoo’s search engine directly into the Outlook e-mail program. Under the deal with Yahoo, Plaxo will get paid for channeling people to Yahoo’s search engine. The search box will be placed beside a Plaxo icon that sits atop Outlook.

Plaxo will eventually make Web searching possible from individual e-mails, according to Masonis. Ultimately, he wants Plaxo to search individual words within the e-mails. You would click on the word and Plaxo would do a Web search through Yahoo.

“We’re in Outlook, so we’re effectively within the operating system. We can scan words,” he said. ‘

The deal is significant because it puts Yahoo search directly into one of the most popular e-mail programs. That helps Yahoo leapfrog rival Google, which earlier put its search engine on the bottom of the computer desktop with its Google task bar.

Do you think MSFT is going to let this happen, on *their* desktop, in *their* application, for very long?

(By the way, Google investor and board member Ram Shirram is also an investor in Plaxo…what tangled webs we weave…)


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15 thoughts on “Search, Meet Desktop. Desktop, Meet Search. MSFT, Meet Plaxo. Plaxo…

  1. Seun Osewa says:

    My first reaction was that this looks like one of those application features that is doomed to have a narrow user base. Then I realised that such situations actually occur from time to time. Google would probably respondby adding the feature to gmail, but only if people are found to actually use it.

  2. Paul Heron says:

    Hmmm *their* desktop/application, when is google going to really just go for it ? Some acquisitions, maybe these – pheron.blogspot.com

  3. Given how fragile Outlook and Exchange can be in the real world, would any sane IT department actually allow their employees to install this on their machines?

  4. Plaxo is also started by Napster co-founder Sean Parker (the original Napster, not the dollar store). Shawn Fanning is on the board of advisors there.

  5. Dodger says:

    I am curious about one thing. What did Masonis mean by “we can scan words”? That kind of pushes the edges of my comfort zone. I think this will be a harder sell than Gmail ads. It is one thing to have a toolbar in your browser that sends back data to a server, but having a plugin for Outlook that is doing the same thing just does not sit right with me.

  6. pb says:

    From the description, I don’t get it. Is this something I want?

  7. Alex Salkever says:

    But there’s one problem. Plaxo is incredibly annoying. Most people I know can’t stand it if someone they don’t know very well or care about sends them bulk mail to ask them to take some of their valuable time to enter information. So they can search. I know, they search from e-mail. I don’t think its something MSFT hasn’t already done in the labs (in fact, Office 2003 may have some of that capability built in but not turned on yet).

  8. scott says:

    What Todd’s referring to (on the “email scan” comment) is the ability to highlight text and search from that. It’s similar to right-clicking on highlighted words on a web page, using Google’s toolbar functionality.

  9. I think this move will have the unintended consequence of helping Microsoft defend themselves 7 years from now when they’ll be dominating paid search. They’ll be able to say ‘As Yahoo showed in its deal with Plaxo, users want search to be integrated within their favorite productivity suite…’

  10. I’ve recently installed plaxo with my outlook express. Idint’ knew its association with yahoo. Intrestng.

  11. steve jones says:

    OSMA was funded by the Reagan and first Bush administrations to fight against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. So was Saddam Hussien, who we gave more than a dozen forms of chemical weapons, so he could fight against Iran. The same Iran, that we sold missile too so President Reagan could raise millions of dollars to fund his dirty wars in South America that congress specifically forbid. Those of you who forget history think that Reagan and the first Bush are so great. Well, OSAMA killed 3000 in 911, and + 800 Americans have now died in IRAQ, Millions died in the IRAQ / IRAN war, 500,00 died by the death squads in South America. Those same people are now in the current Bush administration. I should say, only a few of them in the current Bush administration are part of the 138 people convicted felons and later pardoned by the first President Bush. Is it no wonder, that with the butcher of Honduras, John Negroponte & Chalabi, we have an Iran Contra Style scandal all over again with the torture of prisoners in Iraq. Ron Reagan said it best at the funeral on Friday, “Politicians should not hold religion on their shoulders” WHY? Because they are responsible, just like in the Crusades, of killing millions of people. The current president Bush clearly follows his father in the Republican legacy of failed foreign policy and millions of people killed. (Note: the current President Bush gave 40 million dollars to the Taliban, while ending funding to secure the nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union). Those dirty wars in South America and Reagans amnesty in 1984 are the reason we are being over run with illegal immigration. It cost California 5 Billion a year. As a nation, it must be over 25 Billion in Health Care, Schooling, Welfare, Lost Jobs our Teenagers (now replaced by illegal

  12. I agree with you the way you view the issue. I remember Jack London once said everything positive has a negative side; everything negative has positive side. It is also interesting to see different viewpoints & learn useful things in the discussion.

  13. wellness says:

    Given how fragile Outlook and Exchange can be in the real world

  14. Kugel Margo says:

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