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Autonomy chief executive Mike Lynch
"The computer becomes something which works for you"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 29 March, 2000, 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK
Autonomy claims the search is over

The Kenjin website promises enlightenment at midnight
Software group Autonomy is launching a product which it claims will do away with the need for search engines such as Yahoo and Lycos.

The software, called Kenjin, watches and understands what a user is typing and suggests links to related internet sites.

It can be downloaded free from the internet from midnight on Wednesday.

Autonomy, which has yet to move into profit, will make money on Kenjin from advertising and from taking a slice of e-commerce business revenues.

Software that understands

If a computer user opens a document, such as an e-mail, Kenjin reads the document with the user.

It then brings the user information from the internet and from his or her own computer.

Autonomy chief executive Mike Lynch says that the problem with most computers is that "if you give them a page of prose, they understand about the same amount as your dog does.

"The beauty of the newer technologies is that they can read this page of prose and understand what the ideas that are present are."

He adds: "It can then go and get the right ideas rather than just hitting documents that have the same word in them."

Kenjin - the name is Japanese for wise man - is in effect a cut-down consumer version of the "intelligent" search engines that Autonomy sells to corporates.

"People have seen the technology we do and said why don't you come out with a consumer search engine?" Mr Lynch said.

Headed for Nasdaq

The company has already announced that it plans to list on US technology market Nasdaq.

This listing will co-exist with its current listing on Easdaq, the European share market.

The company, which has seen its share price soar, now has a market value of about 6.5bn.

It has yet to make a profit. Last year, its after-tax losses fell to 1.13m from 1.74m. Its sales were up over 200% to 16.5m.

Mike Lynch has become the UK's first internet billionaire through his holding in Autonomy. He started in business in 1991 with 2,000 provided by a man he met in a pub in Cambridge.

Autonomy's corporate customers include News Corporation, Barclays Bank and British Telecom.

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