Google, which launched its desktop search tool in October 2004, was quickly followed by Yahoo and Microsoft. However, with a desktop search tool and access to Internet search engines, search companies have realised that the next step will be a tool to index information that should be available to employees on the corporate intranet.
Peter Crowe, head of search at Yahoo Australia and New Zealand, said that an intranet search tool would help employees save time by being able to find relevant internal information very quickly.
"It is not hard to imagine the timesaving that will be available -- especially in larger organisations -- as people find their information more quickly. If that information is not being indexed and available for query then clearly you are not seeing the full picture. That is where a lot of people are heading -- it is clear that there is a great opportunity to provide a service with that type of execution," said Crowe.
Additionally, Crowe said that Yahoo would be looking at ways to increase the amount of information available through its search engine -- even if it is not what is traditionally seen as a Web-based file format.
"There is still a lot of information that is not online but the owners of it are happy to put it there -- or they would be happy if it was feasible for them," said Crowe, who believes Web searching has moved on from being simply about Web pages.
"For the most part the Web and searching has been about documents and that is absolutely not the case anymore. What we are seeing is office-type documents, audio files (not necessarily music), videos and as time goes on a deeper variety of formats will be coming online. Even if it is not a Web-based format it doesn't mean you shouldn't be making it accessible to search engines -- and therefore to the wider Web audience," added Crowe.