Jeeves the butler is out of a job

Jeeves the butler, the face of the Ask Jeeves Web site in recent years, took a forced retirement Monday -- axed in favor of Ask.com, a sleeker, more advanced search engine, according to a statement from the company.

"The new Ask.com is the culmination of years of innovation, combining the most advanced core search technology with one-of-a-kind tools that make search better," said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Ask.com, in the statement. "People deserve a search engine that gives them the tools to get what they need faster, not just a bunch of links on a page. Ask.com takes search to the next level."

The new Ask.com features include: A redesigned homepage; the Ask.com toolbox, which offers homepage shortcuts to more than 20 search tools, including maps, images, weather, a dictionary as well as local and desktop search; Ask.com maps, which offer driving directions that combine an AJAX-based interface with a differentiated set of mapping tools to create an easy way to build an itinerary; an encyclopedia search that uses content from Wikipedia, Houghton Mifflin and Columbia; And Web-based Desktop Search, which allows Ask.com desktop search users to access their files and e-mails through their Web browser. Ask.com Desktop Search, which will also be a stand-alone application, can be accessed via the new Ask.com Toolbar.

"Today's launch is a pivotal moment in our history, ensuring a well-known and much-loved search engine continues at the forefront of the evolution of the Internet search market," said Lanzone in the statement.

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Linda Rosencrance

Computerworld
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