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Searching expressly on Infoseek

The portal will release a desktop software tool next week for Netizens frustrated by common Web searches.

Infoseek will release a desktop software tool next week in hopes of appealing to Netizens frustrated by common Web searches.

The product, called Express, launches automatically along with the browser software, giving users a permanent option to use Express when surfing the Web. It also will serve advertisements to users.

It is another example of a portal company's efforts to increase brand awareness by taking a popular Web function such as search and featuring it on other software. Many downloads from portals, such as AOL's Instant Messenger, already reside as an icon in Windows. Such software featuring also helps brand increases brand recognition, companies say.

Revenues from the software will be ad-driven, said Infoseek chairman Steve Kirsch. "This is an opportunity for us to deliver more advertising to the users," he added.

Express allows users to search for topics using a number of search engines besides Infoseek, such as Yahoo, Excite, AltaVista, WebCrawler, and HotBot.

The software lets users download many Web page search results at once, storing the pages in the computer's hard drive. Users can then browse multiple pages that are stored on the user's PC instead of the search engine's server.

Express is Java-based and will be available as a free download on Infoseek and other Web sites from various partners. It will be released September 22.

Though Express will be prominently featured for download on the portal, an Infoseek spokeswoman would not confirm whether the software will have as much exposure on the new joint portal venture with Disney, code-named "go.com."