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Ask.com Sends Jeeves to Retirement

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Minus Jeeves the Butler….Ask.com battles Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Ask Jeeves has completed its transition to Ask.com…sporting a cleaner look….more like Google and MSN Search. Ask.com CEO Steve Berkowitz says sending Jeeves off into retirement wasn't easy, but…

"It was time for us to kind of move and change and change the image of the brand. There's been a lot of …there are lot of people who love the butler, we all love the butler, but I think it's time for us to look at the features that Ask.com is delivering to the user and really get to be able to focus on Ask.com as a top tier search engine. And that's something that I think in some ways the butler held us back from."

Like its competitors, Ask.com offers a mapping tool…complete with aerial photos. But unlike others…it offers walking as well as driving directions. But Berkowitz contends its technology that has made Ask.com the fastest growing search engine…

"I think first it's our search technology which we believe is more advanced than any other search technology out there today. On top of that what we've added is a set of tools and features that allow the users to find things faster. Like binoculars where you can preview a site. Things like Smart Answers that actually understand the query better and give you a direct answer to what you're looking for."

Berkowitz says the site hopes to continue growing…by more closely linking to other InteractiveCorp properties…such as Hotels.com and CitySearch. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.