Ask Jeeves to buy software maker

Struggling Internet search service Ask Jeeves on Monday will announce the acquisition of Octopus, a software maker that it says will help offer additional services and capture a larger market.

The purchase builds on the launch last September of JeevesOne, a question-answering analysis product designed for corporate customers. Ask Jeeves also offers a free consumer search service at AskJeeves.com, but is finding some of its best revenue opportunities lie in the corporate market.

Now Ask Jeeves, which has reported steep losses in recent quarters, is trying to capture more corporate business. By acquiring Octopus, Ask Jeeves said it will be able to offer a software product that supports transactions, as well as search.

"Currently you can use our software to ask a store what kinds of radios they sell, but you can't follow up and say send me one," said Claudio Pinkus, president of Jeeves Solutions.

"It's something that companies are telling us they want to see more of on the Web."

Pinkus said Ask Jeeves has been planning for some time to add these transactions capabilities, but the acquisition of Octopus will accelerate those plans by about eight months.

News source: CNet

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