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AltaVista searches for consumers

Digital Equipment Corporation officially announced its plans to turn its AltaVista search engine into commercial software.

Digital Equipment Corporation today officially announced its plans to turn its popular AltaVista search engine into commercial software products.

Following general plans first described publicly in March, DEC will market three products based on the core AltaVista search engine: Enterprise Edition, Workgroup Edition, and Personal Edition. Like the AltaVista search service on the Web, Enterprise Edition will run on DEC's 64-bit Digital Unix operating system, while the other two editions will run on Windows NT and Windows 95.

All three products will begin beta testing this summer.

The company originally intended AltaVista as a showcase for Digital Unix and high-performance hardware servers based on the DEC's Alpha chip, but the allure of extending the AltaVista brand to commercial products was too strong. Like Infoseek, Yahoo, and other Web search engines, DEC lets users search the Internet for free; unlike those services, DEC does not sell advertising on the AltaVista site.

DEC is also re-christening a number of existing and future Internet products under the AltaVista brand, including AltaVista Mail, AltaVista Forum, AltaVista LAN Browser, AltaVista Firewall, and AltaVista Tunnel.

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