Wall Street Journal picks up scent

Front Page of yesterday’s Marketplace section has two stories, side-by-side, picking up on the meme of universal search with a graphic of two bloodhounds trying to get their way into a PC. One covers the announcement of the beta MSN search interface announced yesterday and the second looks at Apple’s Spotlight utility for desktop search. Both articles pose the theory that each of these companies are edging into the search space as a key differentiators. Microsoft’s approach is to create a better portal to the internet and Apple is working on getting an integrated desktop search out the door ahead of Microsoft’s Longhorn launch which promises better desktop searching.

If Microsoft is launching a better internet search engine to couple to their improved desktop search tools launching with Longhorn, and Apple is bundling better desktop search with Spotlight, the only thing missing is Apple integrated with an internet search engine. Apple’s Safari browser already integrates Google without the need of a separate toolbar – wonder what will happen to Sherlock which was Apple’s first attempt to embed internet searching into the desktop? Will Apple build its own, partner with a partner like Google, or reach out to the developer community to add on to Spotlight internet search integration?

Not exactly an admission, the article about Spotlight digs in to ask if either Google or Yahoo are looking at getting into the desktop search business themselves,

Google, which has become synonymous with finding information on the Internet, is working on its own tool for searching a PC, according to people who have talked with the company. A Google spokesman declined to comment on any product plans. Analysts say Yahoo may also get into desktop search. “If we think that’s something we need to do, we’ll look at it,” a Yahoo spokeswoman says.

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