X1 Technologies Inc., of Pasadena, Calif., first launched its X1 Search application in February as a way for users to quickly find e-mails, attachments, contacts and desktop files. It is competing in a space increasingly drawing the attention of operating system makers Microsoft Corp. and Apple Computer Inc., as well as Web search providers such as Google Inc.
Rather than a plug-in within an e-mail client such as Microsoft Corp.s Outlook, X1 Search is a separate client that supports multiple e-mail clients, specifically Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora and Netscape Mail.
With the new release, called X1 Search 04.08, X1 has added the ability for users to search for specific phrases by putting a set of keywords in quotation marks and to use Boolean commands such as "AND" and "OR," said Mark Goodstein, X1s founder and executive vice president of business development.
"Its what we call the Google standards," Goodstein said of the additional query support. "Were supporting a much more complex search syntax."
Beyond queries, X1s new release expands its ability to index and preview file attachments in e-mail. X1 already supported the indexing and viewing of file attachments from e-mail in Outlook and Eudora, and the new version adds attachment support for Outlook Express and Netscape Mail, Goodstein said.
X1 supports about 255 file types, such as PDFs, Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. Available now, the new version runs on Windows 98 and higher. Pricing starts at $99 for a single copy.
Beyond the new release, X1 is working on a version that plugs into Outlook and is considering adding support for Lotus Notes, Goodstein said. The company also is working to license its technology to other technology providers.
Desktop and e-mail search have gained renewed attention as Microsoft promotes its plans for all-in-one search capabilities in its Longhorn release of Windows. Last week, it demonstrated prototypes of integrated search.
The desktop search field also has attracted other startups. One, Outlook Software Inc., developed a search plug-in for Outlook and last month was acquired by Microsofts MSN division.
Another startup, Stata Laboratories Inc., has created a search-based e-mail client as an alternative to folder-based clients such as Outlook. On Tuesday, the San Mateo, Calif., company announced the availability of the professional edition of its Bloomba 2.0 e-mail client.
As with the personal edition released in June, the professional edition adds an integrated calendar and an improved contacts feature. But it also more directly targets business users by allowing them to share their calendars and to sync their information with Palm-based handhelds.
Pricing for Bloomba Professional Edition starts at $89.99, and it runs on Windows 98 and higher.