Ask Jeeves, Inc., a provider of information retrieval brands, has introduced a beta desktop search application. Ask Jeeves Desktop Search is designed to make it easy for people to find information on their computers or the Internet. Ask Jeeves Desktop Search is free, and intended to enable people to quickly and easily search the files, word-processing documents, presentations, spreadsheets, photos, music and video files, applications, and email messages on their computers.
Product highlights include: Full-Text Index--Upon installation of the 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 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 for new and deleted files and email messages to ensure the index is always kept up to date. Search--Like searching the Internet, users 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 returns results in a two-panel interface where previews are displayed for review. Users will also find a search box 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. Ask Jeeves Desktop Search works with Windows 2000 or XP, Office 2000 or higher, and Outlook 2000, XP and 2003. The program requires a minimum of a Pentium III computer running at 400MHz with 128 MB RAM (1 GHz and 256 MB RAM recommended).