Yahoo has followed in the footsteps of other search engines and has launched a desktop search software. The tool, which will allow users to search e-mail and other files on their PC will go against similar services from Google, Microsoft and Ask Jeeves.

Users can download the free beta software from the Yahoo

website

The tool will allow users to immediately locate any email, attachment or contact from Outlook or Outlook Express as well as retrieve any file on your computer, regardless of where it is located on your computer. The search engine will search through over 200 file types including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, text, HTML and ZIP.

Users can search under a variety of criteria, including file name, size, date and time. It doesn't yet include web searching, but Yahoo said future versions will allow users to search data on both the Web and desktop.

With the search tool you will be able to view search results, preview the files without loading the relevant software package and even play audio and video files.

Yahoo! Desktop Search works on PC's running Microsoft Windows XP and Windows 2000 SP3 and SP4. At this point in time Yahoo! Desktop Search does not run on Macs.