Yahoo follows rivals Google, Ask Jeeves, and Microsoft in releasing beta of search tools
Yahoo on Tuesday will become the latest search engine to provide a product for searching hard drives, following similar launches by rivals Google (Profile, Products, Articles), Ask Jeeves (Profile, Products, Articles), and Microsoft (Profile, Products, Articles).
With the release of its Yahoo Desktop Search, Yahoo makes good on the promise it made in December that it would launch a desktop search tool this month.
Like the competing products from Google, Ask Jeeves, and Microsoft, the Yahoo software is being released as a test version, called a beta version in computer industry parlance.
Desktop search tools are designed to help users find information stored in their PC hard drives, a task that utilities included with the Windows operating systems traditionally have performed poorly.
Yahoo, in Sunnyvale, California, will make its Yahoo Desktop Search application available as a free download at http://desktop.yahoo.com.
Based on technology Yahoo licensed from desktop search specialist X1 Technologies, the Yahoo Desktop Search application can index over 200 different types of files, including those created by Microsoft’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint and Adobe Systems’ PDF and PhotoShop. The tool can also index the content of Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express e-mail messages and their attachments.
Yahoo Desktop Search lets users preview the content of the files it finds, so that they don’t necessarily have to launch the files in their native applications in order to view them. The tool even plays audio and video files without the need to launch them in a separate media player. It also lets users sort, delete, print, and share files it finds right from its interface.
Yahoo Desktop Search currently only works with computers running Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser on Windows XP and Windows 2000 operating systems.