Autonomy challenges Google with enterprise desktop search tool

Autonomy's latest application is a desktop search tool which helps users find relevant information on PCs and corporate networks

Information management company Autonomy is targeting the enterprise and small business market with a search tool to help users to find information on desktop PCs, corporate servers or the Internet.

The IDOL Enterprise Desktop Search uses a technique called "implicit querying", which means it runs constantly in the background looking for data that could be relevant to a user's work.

According to Autonomy, this means the tool is more useful than rival desktop search applications such as Google's.

"Traditional search tools are fallible in two ways -- users only use them when they think they want to search for information, and they only look in places where they think the information they want exists," said Ian Black, Autonomy's communications director.

Users can choose to have the IDOL Enterprise Desktop Search running as a toolbar within another application, where it will keep looking for relevant information. Alternatively the tools can be minimised and checked at leisure.

Another feature is called Active Folders, which Black said can be set to constantly look for and store material relevant to a particular subject.

Black declined to give any pricing details for IDOL Enterprise Desktop Search, explaining that the cost will depend on the size of a company, and which parts of the IT systems are searched.

He added that the desktop search tool must be run in conjunction with Autonomy's back-end IDOL search software. A company that has already implemented that technology would find it cheaper to add the desktop search, compared to a firm that had to add the back-end service as well.

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