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Fri, Jan 14, 2005 - Page 12 News List

Google offers new budget version of its software

AP , SAN FRANCISCO

Google Inc is setting out to expand its share of the business software market with a scaled-down version of its Internet-leading search engine that was set to go on sale yesterday for US$4,995.

The Google Mini is tailored for the thousands of small and medium-sized businesses that don't need or can't afford the more sophisticated products that the Mountain View-based company has been building for large companies during the past few years, said Dave Girouard, general manager of Google's enterprise search.

The budget model of Google's search engine, which comes fully loaded in a computer ready to be plugged into a network, will index about 50,000 documents. Google's larger search engine products scan anywhere from 150,000 to 15 million documents and cost from US$32,000 to US$500,000.

While it caters to smaller companies, Google also has upgraded its search software for bigger organizations. The upgrades include the power to pore through the information stored on databases and more flexibility with computer security systems.

"We want to make it so all companies can have their own private Google [search engines]," Girouard said.

Google's push into the business software market hasn't made much of a dent so far. Online advertising accounted for 98 percent of Google's US$2.16 billion through the first nine months of last year. Google pocketed just US$35 million from software licensing and other sources during that period.

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