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Ask Jeeves serves up tool bar

Hoping to put its butler services in constant contact with Web surfers, Ask Jeeves on Monday will announce the release of a new tool bar that gives people a direct line to its searching features. The company is the latest dot-com to add a tool bar to its offerings as it competes for customers and revenue in a down economy.

People who download the free tool bar will be able to get to Ask Jeeves' offerings from any Web page. The tool bar will appear alongside the browser and allow users to organize searches and link to news, weather, market updates, and words in the dictionary by clicking on one of 10 buttons. People also will be able to customize the appearance and features of the tool bar, which works with Windows platforms running Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher.