Friday, July 16, 2004

Microsoft acquires desktop search company

It's being widely reported that Microsoft has acquired a desktop search company called Lookout. Lookout's product adds a search bar to MS Outlook to allow easy searches of e-mail and files on the computer.

The Seattle PI predicted:
    Microsoft's acquisition of Lookout Software reflects the fact that next-generation search engines are expected to focus on "unified search" -- encompassing not only data from the World Wide Web but also other sources of information, such as files stored on a hard drive. Microsoft has said it is designing its MSN Search program as a single system to search across a variety of data types, including PCs, databases and corporate intranets.
This acquisition is a bit unusual because of the size of the company. Lookout is a two-person company with one freeware product and only a few thousand users, according to the Seattle Times.

Update: Lookout apparently uses the Lucene open-source search search engine. This has lead some to question what technology was acquired by Microsoft in this deal. By the way, it's interesting to see that other users of Lucene include Furl, Nutch, and Seruku.

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