AOL launches new portal, tests desktop search

America Online on Thursday confirmed that it is testing a new search engine that scans for files on a PC's hard drive, mirroring a similar product unveiled this week by Google.

AOL's desktop search was not developed in-house but is powered by a third-party's technology, according to a source familiar with the plans. While the source would not reveal AOL's desktop search partner, this person said it was not Google. The desktop search tool is currently being offered as a feature within a test version of a standalone Web browser that AOL is developing, the source said.

AOL spokeswoman Anne Bentley confirmed that the desktop search tool is being tested alongside the AOL Browser but declined to elaborate further. She said the AOL Browser will launch as early as November. Separately, the company on Thursday unveiled a redesign of AOL.com. As previously reported, the move highlights AOL's latest attempt to create a popular Web portal. AOL's desktop search engine will take on Google, Microsoft and other rivals looking to expand the success of Web search into new arenas. The move could be a longer reach for AOL, which has so far contributed little to develop is own search technology.

News source: C|Net News.com

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