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Microsoft buys Lookout
the search tool for Outlook

 6:35 am on Jul 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Lookout is a great little free tool for searching your Outlook - looks like Microsoft just bought a clue rather than spending the time developing their own tool of similar quality...




 11:53 am on Jul 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

They removed all relevant pages linking to downloads from their site. Google cache. [google.ca]

Using that, the files to download are still available:



Get it quick. Archive.org doesn't have them.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 12:44 pm (utc) on Oct. 21, 2004]
[edit reason] delinked the direct link to the exe's [/edit]


 11:55 am on Jul 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I downloaded lookout just a few days and have been vert impressed, particularly on email searches. I've used X1 and although it's good it takes a while to load up and clogs up memory too much when indexing.
Lookout works a treat. For those who want more competition in the market, I guess the only hope now is Google's desktop offering.


 12:09 pm on Jul 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

FYI after you install one of the versions above they will automatically contact the lookoutsoft server and offer to upgrade you to 1.2, a Microsoft version "with a new UI". I can't do it from work, so it must use a special port.


 12:45 pm on Jul 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've said it in public - I'll say it again...

Time to start working on strategies to optimise all your email correspondence.

A whole new revenue stream for me!



 12:50 pm on Jul 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Here's the press release from MS:

Personal Search Tool for Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 Is Added to MSN Search Arsenal [microsoft.com]

Interesting that this happens only a few days after Yahoo! buys Oddpost [webmasterworld.com]

With Oddpost being the "Web based Outlook" i feel these two moves are more directed at Gmail than at Search.

I should add that Mike Belshe and Eric Hahn of Lookout are both ex-Netscape, Eric has even been chief developer, according to the Danish edition of Computerworld.


 4:09 pm on Jul 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ok, what do you suspect the purchase price was?

I mean, golly, this software is based almost completely on the .NET port of Apache Lucene. I use it all the time, its really great, but its not that complex.

My guess is 250-500K up front, plus a nice deal for the founders in MSFT options and a salary and a corner office in redmond... More than that, they could have built this thing in a short amount of time (without the Apache license attached everywhere).

Any ideas?


 4:13 pm on Jul 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

That's funny. When I open Microsoft Outlook, I always think "Lookout!"


 5:58 pm on Jul 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Is this an indication of how far their desktop search initiative has progressed?

It's a good move but it makes you wonder how far behind they are in Redmond.


 6:03 pm on Jul 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yeah, maybe the MSN search tech preview really IS that bad.



 6:33 pm on Jul 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Perhaps they are just wiping out competition before releasing their own product?


 7:06 pm on Jul 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

I thought the thread title was:
"Microsoft buys LookSmart"
and I all most fell off my chair laughing.


 8:05 am on Jul 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Funny how the MSN butterfly flies on their logo.



 10:53 pm on Jul 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I demo'ed the product before the press release. I uninstalled it because its still kind of buggy and the presentation of results is not very easy to sort through. Still needs a lot of work. Personally, if Microsoft were to buy anyone it should have been Caelo's Nelson Email Organizer.


 2:52 pm on Jul 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

You can now download LookOut from Microsoft's website:



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