Google Mini drives into Europe

Google's entry-level search appliance is now available this side of the Atlantic

Google on Wednesday launched its entry-level search appliance, the Google Mini, into the European market.

The Google Mini is designed to enable small businesses to let employees and Web site visitors search up to 100,000 documents, including blog and wiki entries. Google hopes to find customers among healthcare organisations, educational institutions, government agencies, and small to medium-sized businesses such as law firms and consultancies.

The company already sells a search appliance in Europe, but this typically costs an order of magnitude more than the £1,995 Google will charge for the Mini.

"Content is dramatically increasing everywhere and it is no longer limited to documents, spreadsheets and presentations," said Roberto Solimene, enterprise sales director of Google Europe. "With more Web pages, Weblogs, wikis and other content, businesses of every size are having a hard time keeping track of it all. With Google, you can help your customers and employees quickly find the information they need."

The Mini, which fits into a 1U-high rack space, can handle up to 60 queries a minute and can be bought direct from Google.

Early users include the Warwick Business School and orthopaedic digital imaging firm OrthoView.