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January 3, 2007, 7:02 pm
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Franco/German partnership dissolves over intended rival to Google
The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) has
announced that they would be withdrawing from Project Quaero, the plan
to launch a Euro search engine challenger to Google and Yahoo writes
According to the French Agency for Industrial Innovation (AII) who
spearheaded the consortium, the split has been put down to differences
over technology between them and the BMWi who also announced they will
be setting up their own research project, dubbed Theseus. Theseus is
intended to be an "information and technology service" rather than
just a search engine. The French meanwhile wanted to focus more on the
multimedia search side with the indexing of text, images and video.
Since its initial launch in January 2006, the project has been dogged
with a perceived lack of commitment from the German side of the
partnership. With no major German backer five months after the projects
initial launch in January last year it is perhaps an unsurprising
A ministry spokeswoman from the BMWi told The Guardian; "The French
wanted a search engine. We wanted something else." Championed
exuberantly by French President Jacques Chirac in his continuing
crusade against "Anglo-Saxon" cultural imperialism, Project Quaero
- Latin for "I search" was quickly dubbed "Ask Chirac"
according to the newspaper and is expected the French will continue to
develop the initiative without partnership from the Germans.