AltaVista launches Consumer Online Network

AltaVista has launched its much-anticipated new Web strategy, aimed at helping it compete with portals from companies such as Yahoo, Lycos and Excite for the consumer-oriented online market.

The company announced that it is creating a new network of online services called the New AltaVista Network, consisting of revamped versions of its search and shopping sites, combined with what it calls a new "megaportal".

The network includes New AltaVista Search, a search site that includes include a new user interface and expanded search capabilities, according to a company statement. Users can search eight categories: Web pages, discussion groups, directories, news sources, shopping, and audio clips, photo images and video images.

The new network also incorporates New AltaVista Shopping.com, an online shopping service designed to guide users from making shopping decisions to purchasing items online, the company said. The site will include features such as providing product reviews and research, as well as letting consumers make online price comparisons.

The New AltaVista Network will also include an entirely new site, which the company calls AltaVista Live. The Web site is designed to let users put together personalised information incorporating a variety of multimedia content. The site is updated with news and information 24 hours a day, and AltaVista is partnering with companies such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, Reuters, CBS MarketWatch and ZDNet to deliver content.

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