There are many good news bits in that article. Down at the second to last paragraph is the blurb about IBM/Clever/Almaden. There is also:
Ask Jeeves plans to integrate Teoma search results in its Ask.com site within the next month, syndicate the technology to portals and Web sites in the second quarter, and later this year offer Teoma as a site-specific search tool for enterprises.
Hmmm what's that mean, syndicate the technology to portals and Web sites?
Looks like they are serious about heading in the direction of FAST and Google.
Think they will have a chance at reaching that level in the near future?
It's going to take some time for them to prove themselves and build up a large following. They have what many might consider, the best of two hot topics these days: Ask's pattern-matching technology and Teoma's authority-matching technology.
Most of the popular portals around the world these days are powered by either Google or FAST. They will have to build up a good model in order to convince those sites to switch over.
What about AOL?
They have the perfect opportunity to go after AOL RIGHT NOW. ODP is not looking so "fresh" these days due to their "methods" of listing sites and Inktomi has very poor results.
On the international side, pregunta.com is a good start for them to hit the Spanish-language market. They seriously need to target other languages if they want to succeed in the portal game.
site-specific search tool for enterprises
Something similar to FAST's PartnerSite or Google's "search within the site" option....
I wonder whether the cute Ask Jeeves brand identity will actually hurt them with serious searchers.
I'm also wondering how much of the Ask Jeeves technology and directory (it really was a directory with syntax recognition technology) they've retained. I know that they let go of a lot of engineers in the Bay Area in the past year.