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Compaq Turns AltaVista Loose

Techstination feature for Wednesday, January 27, 1999

Another search engine is going gold. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. The crazy market for Internet stocks has prompted Compaq Computer to spin off the popular AltaVista search tool into a company all its own. Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer....

"The Internet phenomenon, obviously, is a major one that Compaq has been looking at for its existing business and having the AltaVista technology we need to give it focus and all the capabilities to become one of the leading destination sites on the Internet.

Compaq acquired AltaVista when it took over Digital Equipment last year and while it may not be as well known as Yahoo and Excite, AltaVista has been a leader in search technology and the use of language translation. Rod Schrock will head the new AltaVista company...and he has some big plans...

"What we intend to do going forward is transform it from being a leading guide to the Internet to being a leading destination site on the Internet. And one of the key distinctive factors we're going to do is design into the fabric of Alta Vista a very robust service for both providing information for users and the ability to buy products on the AltaVista site itself.

It plans to form ecommerce partnerships and has already forged one with Microsoft to become the primary search tool on the Microsoft Network and offer a free email service powered by Microsoft's Hotmail.