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Compaq wakes up to portal potential

AltaVista to climb up net charts, it claims

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Compaq wants AltaVista to become one of the top five portal sites on the internet after it announced it would "aggressively promote" the search engine. Currently languishing in tenth place behind the likes of Yahoo!, AOL and Excite Compaq's decision to back AltaVista - which it acquired as part of the Digital take-over earlier this year - ends months of speculation about the future of the portal. Speaking in the Financial Times, Kurt Losert, acting general manager at AltaVista admitted that the company lacked the media skills necessary to provide the content vital for the success of the portal. However, this announcement suggests that AltaVista's new masters have finally recognised the money-spinning potential of a well-trampled web site in attracting advertising revenue. As part of Compaq's commitment, AltaVista has launched a new search engine which enables people to ask questions using more natural language - something that has been available from other sites such as AskJeeves.com for some time. ®

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