Lycos offers tool for Web and desktop search

Terra Lycos SA is aiming to heat up the search market with its HotBot Desktop application, which allows users to search the Web and browser history, as well as their e-mail and files.

The free download, launched Monday, works as an Internet browser toolbar. In addition to searching the Web, HotBot Desktop supports indexing and searching of Outlook and Outlook Express e-mail and files in Microsoft Office, PDF (Portable Document Format) and most text-based formats, Terra Lycos said.

The tool also includes an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) browser, which allows users to choose from hundreds of included RSS feeds, often used for distributing news content. Users can also add custom RSS feeds or subscriber-based feeds, the company said.

Combined desktop and Web search is a unique offering as major search players like Google Inc. have yet to introduce it, according to Danny Sullivan, editor of

"I think that many people would like to search their own computer with as much ease as you can search the Web," Sullivan said, "But major search players haven't offered it because searching PCs and the Web is very different."

The search differences were made explicit when AltaVista rolled out a similar product in 1998 called AltaVista Discovery, he said. The product didn't go over very well because in order to search users' computers it had to make a large index file of everything on the PC which took up time and hard drive space, according to Sullivan. These days, however, hard drives have more space and the fact that HotBot Desktop only indexes certain file formats cuts down on the indexing requirements, he said.

Waltham, Massachusetts, Terra Lycos developed the new search tool in alliance with Argo Technology Inc. While many industry watchers believe that Microsoft Corp. will launch a combined desktop and Web-search offering in its next operating system, Sullivan believes that there is room for other Web players to roll out their own offerings before that.

"I could easily see Google offer free e-mail with search capabilities," Sullivan said.

For now, however, Terra Lycos is hoping that HotBot Desktop will be the combined search tool that heats things up.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Scarlet Pruitt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?