The San Francisco Chronicle writes:
the search is already on for what many see as the next big thing in that industry: technology to help you find information on the Web, in your e-mail and on your computer — all from the same engine.
It’s an area that analysts believe Google is keenly interested in, as is its archrival, Yahoo. Microsoft has already said that it plans to create such a search engine, which could be released as soon as this winter.
In June, Ask Jeeves acquired Tukaroo, a desktop search company, but has yet to release anything publicly.
In the meantime, several upstarts are trying to make their mark in the so- called desktop search field, including Blinkx, Copernic, X-1 and Terra Lycos’ HotBot. They have drawn considerable attention with their products, but have so far won only mixed reviews from Internet industry observers.
Companies are hoping that blending search across multiple platforms will increase consumer loyalty. The winners, analysts believe, could be richly rewarded because of the potential to expand targeted advertising from just Web search results to e-mail and documents.
“I always thought that this was a natural extension of search,” said Gary Price, an editor for SearchEngineWatch, an online newsletter about the search industry. “It’s always a challenge to get to the documents on your desktop.
“This will give the major search players an opportunity to sell more ads and get more eyeballs on those ads,” he added.