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The Kelsey Report® Advisory

Dex Seeks to Speed Up Search Via xSides
Charles Laughlin , 5/23/2000

Issue: Are Web Tops, Metabrowsers and Rocket Boards the Answer?

News: On May Day, U S WEST Dex "relaunched" its Internet Yellow Pages Web site (www.uswestdex.com) with features and a layout designed to expedite the process of buyers finding sellers. Last week, it licensed technology from a Seattle-based start-up called xSides, which will place Dex-based shopping tools right on a user's PC desktop.

Something like "picture in picture" on a big screen TV, xSides' "Web top" technology resides as a toolbar on a PC screen outside the traditional Web browser. It lets shoppers initiate quick Web site launches, customize desktop portals and create a launch pad for devices like calculators and CD players. While xSides applications currently take up horizontal real estate along the bottom of the computer screen, the company's master plan is to replace the Windows desktop with an xSides "Web top."

Dex has arranged for its IYP to be packaged in an xSides toolbar. Users can download the toolbar from Dex's IYP site. Using the xSides tool, users input Yellow Pages searches that launch directly into the IYP search results page. Dex executives believe the xSides toolbar will improve the user experience and bring more traffic to its Web site, although the new tool's take rate is uncertain.

"[xSides] creates a convenience we believe consumers will appreciate and use often, which in turn will benefit our Internet Yellow Pages advertisers," says Margaret McGuckin, vice president and general manager of U S WEST Dex Internet and New Ventures groups.

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