Ask.com rolled out a new version of itself Monday. The revamped search engine includes a new user interface with three new technologies — DADs (Direct Answers from Databases), DAFS (Direct Answers From Search) and AnswerFarm — that offer users the ability to search the Web using commonly spoken language.
The enhancements to Ask.com will help the site retain existing users and attract new, said Caroline Dangson, an IDC analyst.
Natural Language Search
Ask.com’s new technologies differ from those used by competitors such as Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) and MSN Search because they enable Web surfers to type real questions, instead of a series of keywords, said Erik Collier, vice president of product management at Ask.com.
Microsoft announced Tuesday it is easing licensing restrictions for server applications. Companies will no longer be required to pay additional fees to move software within a server farm, the company said. The move is an attempt to remove barriers in order for its enterprise customers to develop more dynamic data centers and enterprise IT systems using virtualization software, according to the software maker.
AT&T announced its new cloud computing service on Tuesday, dubbed “AT&T Synaptic Hosting.” With the new offering, the telecommunications company joins Amazon, Google and IBM as a service provider in the nascent application hosting market. The service is aimed at providing companies with greater flexibility by eliminating the need to maintain their own data centers, according to AT&T.
The Open Web Foundation introduced itself to the world last week at OSCON, the Open Source Convention, held in Portland, Ore. The consortium of individuals and Internet companies is an effort to build a home for community-driven specifications on the Web. The organization follows open source models already seen in the Apache Software Foundation.