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MS to introduce Tripoli search engine

Microsoft has developed its own search engine, code-named Tripoli.

Microsoft will expand its line of Internet server software, offering a search engine to keep the company competitive with archrival Netscape Communications.

Microsoft's search engine, code-named Tripoli, is designed to be used by companies for searches of their Web sites, rather than the entire Internet. While the Net sees a proliferation in the number of global search engines, such as Yahoo and Lycos, an increasing number of sites are employing such "off-the-shelf" tools as Tripoli to offer more comprehensive queries or information.

To meet that demand, Web server vendors are integrating such off-the-shelf search engines with other offerings. Netscape, for example, announced in March that it would offer a version of Verity's Topic search engine with its Enterprise Server, which is currently in beta testing, at no extra charge. Enterprise Server is will be available commercially in the second quarter for $995.

By the end of the second quarter, Microsoft will post a beta version of Tripoli, which was previewed at the company's Professional Developer Conference earlier this year. Developed in-house, the search engine will allow content indexing and full-text retrieval on Web sites, according to the company.

"We expect this to be a key component of Internet Information Server," said Dave Malcolm, product manager for Internet servers at Microsoft.

The product will connect to Microsoft's Windows NT Web server, IIS, through the Internet Server API, an application programming interface that offers better performance than common gateway interface (CGI) programs. Final packaging and pricing details have not been set for Tripoli, but the beta version of the search engine will be available for free. Microsoft offers IIS as a free standalone Web server and as an integrated feature of Windows NT Server.

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