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Digital to market Alta Vista

The popularity of its Alta Vista search engine has convinced Digital Equipment to turn the indexing tool from a showcase for its high-speed servers into a software product in its own right.

The popularity of its Alta Vista search engine has persuaded Digital Equipment to turn the indexing tool from a showcase for its high-speed servers into a software product in its own right.

The company plans to unveil two Alta Vista products by the end of the year, one for corporate intranet servers and one for PC users who want a sophisticated tool for searching for files on their hard drives.

The intranet version of Alta Vista will allow corporate users to search HTML pages on Web servers and look for any other file stored on corporate servers. "The new intranet version will search your corporate Web site and data, including word documents and files," an Alta Vista spokesperson said. "For example, you can search for letters that you wrote to Bob Smith last year, and you will receive email and word documents."

The personal version of Alta Vista will perform a similar task for home users looking for documents in their personal files, as well as performing Web searches. "The personal version will search everything that is connected to your PC," the spokesperson said.

Beta versions of both search tools will be available by the end of the summer, according to the company. Digital has not yet set pricing nor determined the product's final names.

The Alta Vista Web search site was launched four months ago to illustrate the speed of Digital's servers built around its Alpha processor. The relative speed and comprehensiveness of the service, however, has made Alta Vista one of the most popular search sites on the Net, getting hits from an estimated 5 million users serving 22 million Web pages a day, the company said.

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