Ask Jeeves: Do We Need Another Desktop Search?

Yes, we do, says Andy Beal. This one's pretty good, according to early reviews. Release in extended entry….

Yes, we do, says Andy Beal. This one’s pretty good, according to early reviews. Release in extended entry.

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Ask Jeeves Introduces Desktop Search Application

Emeryville, CA, December 15, 2004 – Ask Jeeves®, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASKJ), a

leading provider of information retrieval brands, today introduced a beta

desktop search application. Fast, relevant, and flexible, Ask Jeeves Desktop

Search(tm) makes it easy for people to find information on their computers

or the Internet. The product is available free for download at

Ask Jeeves Desktop Search helps people overcome the challenges of

information overload by enabling them to quickly and easily search the

hundreds, even thousands of files, word-processing documents, presentations,

spreadsheets, photos, music and video files, applications and email messages

on their computers.

“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 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.”

Product highlights include:

– Fresh, Full-Text Index: 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 to ensure the index is always kept up to date.

– Fast, 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. Meanwhile,

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 dialog boxes, such as Insert Attachment 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 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.

Ask Jeeves Desktop Search works with Windows 2000 or XP, Office 2000 or

higher, and Outlook 2003. The program requires a minimum of a Pentium III

computer running at 400MHz with 128 MB RAM (1 GHz and 256 MB RAM


About Ask Jeeves, Inc.

Ask Jeeves, Inc. provides consumers and advertisers with information

retrieval products across a diverse portfolio of Web sites, portals and

desktop search applications. Ask Jeeves’ search and search-based portal

brands include: Ask Jeeves ( and; Ask Jeeves Japan

(, a joint venture); Ask Jeeves for Kids (; Excite

(; iWon (; My Search (; My Way (;

My Web Search ( and Teoma ( Ask Jeeves also owns

the search technology Teoma, proprietary natural language processing

technology, as well as portal and ad serving technologies. In addition to

powering several of the Ask Jeeves brands, the Company syndicates its

technologies to help companies increase revenue through powerful search. Ask

Jeeves’ advertising division, AJinteractive, provides advertisers with

targeted tools to reach a broad base of valuable customers. Ask Jeeves, Inc.

is headquartered in Emeryville, California, with offices throughout the

United States, as well as in London, England and Dublin, Ireland. For more

information, visit <> or call


2 thoughts on “Ask Jeeves: Do We Need Another Desktop Search?”

  1. Do we really? I guess we do – competition is good. Here is a summary of desktop search tools that I’m aware of:

    Big players:
    Google Desktop Search
    Yahoo’s tool from a week ago
    MS tool from the other day
    Ask Jeeves

    Small players:
    Aduna AutoFocus

    Small players/individuals:

    Interestingly enough, but not surprisingly, all apps in the last group use Lucene, as does Aduna’s AutoFocus.

    That’s a lot of competition!

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