New AltaVista software searches PCs

AltaVista Co.’s new Desktop Search software became available Monday, offering to help harried corporate users who are tired of wasting time combing through thousands of computer files and e-mails to find what they need.

AltaVista Desktop Search, which was originally announced last June, is a Windows-based application that is being licensed to medium-sized and large corporations. New AltaVista corporate clients can expect to pay from US$25 to US$30 per employee for the search product, but existing AltaVista business customers will be offered a “deep discounted price,” a company representative said Monday.

The software navigates more than 225 different file types by filename and folder to locate users’ sought-after information. It also crawls through e-mails, searching by keyword, folder, date or subject header fields such as “cc”, “to” and “from,” and is designed to complement the Web browser, the company said.

Broad search and retrieval results are presented to users in a single frame interface, and searches can be performed regardless of whether the user has applications open or not.

The software is intended to save users time and increase productivity, and AltaVista hopes that it will be a step forward in offering PC users a “universal view” of relevant corporate information across multiple platforms and applications.

Desktop Search is available through the