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Is Yahoo planning to buy X1 from Idealabs ?

That's the first question that hit me when I read this article in eWeek about Yahoo's New Year's Resolution: Desktop Search.

Unlike Google's desktop search tool, Yahoo's won't operate within a browser. The distinction means that Yahoo's desktop searches won't be co-mingled with online searches conducted at its Web site. The product, licensed from a pioneering startup named X1 Technologies, seeks to cure a common computer-induced headache by making it as quick and easy to find digital information offline as it has become online.

With just 20 employees, X1 has established itself as a trailblazer in desktop search since starting three years ago. The private Pasadena-based company has been charging $74.95 for its search software and plans to continue to license its products to businesses even as Yahoo distributes a version for free. Both Yahoo and X1 contend it makes sense to maintain a dividing line between hard-drive search and Web search because one quest focuses on recovering old information while the other strives to discover new information.

The interest in desktop search is not surprising, industry analysts have said. Operators of Web search want to get on the desktop because it gives them more real estate on users' computers and thus more opportunity to display ads, Matthew Berk, an independent analyst based in New York, said in August, when IDG News Service first reported Yahoo's desktop search plans.
Infoworld says that Desktop search avalanche set to hit with Microsoft, Yahoo, and Ask Jeeves jumping into desktop search after Internet search leader Google.

Besides the connections with Yahoo's network, the desktop-search client will include a feature for narrowing searches according to attributes. Once Yahoo Mail can be searched, for example, users can narrow their searches based on sender, recent e-mails and attached file types, Weiner said. In the presentation of search results, the client will display results as a user is typing a query and refine them as more characters are entered, he said.