Unplugged: Browse the Web offline

You can now browse and search the net on your laptop computers and hand-held devices--without an Internet connection.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2006 23:39 IST

You can now browse and search the net on your laptop computers and hand-held devices--without an Internet connection.

A brand new software developed by a Silicon Valley startup, co-founded by Indian tech star Rakesh Mathur, makes that possible. What more, the service comes free.

Webaroo, the venture floated by Mathur along with fellow computer hotshots Bradley Husick and Beerud Sheth, formally launched the `Searchable, Offline Web' on Monday.

"At home or on the go, in the air or on vacation, users can now find the information they need, wherever they are," said Webaroo's CEO Mathur, who made a fortune during the dotcom boom by selling his hugely successful junglee.com to Amazon.

The Indian face of Webaroo is not restricted to Mathur and Sheth, both from IIT Mumbai. Much of the work on the new software has been done by 50 odd software developers and mathematicians in India. The company has offices in Seattle, Santa Clara, Mumbai and Delhi.

"As mobile use grows, consumers want to be able to do more with their mobile devices. Webaroo brings the power of web search to mobile devices with an innovative product that is truly ubiquitous and fast," says Mathur.

The Webaroo software features "web packs" on a variety of subjects such as news, sports and major global cities, including New York, London and Mumbai--each of which contains thousands of relevant web pages identified by its innovative algorithms.

The company has tied up with computer maker Acer to bundle the new software on its laptop PCs worldwide. It is in talks with other manufacturers for similar tie-ups.

The free software will be no drain on Webaroo's finances. For the company, much like Google and Yahoo search engines, plans to make money from advertisements.

The service is not only free, it's fast as well since content is saved on the device, says Webaroo. And it's "real" as web pages are delivered in full graphic form. How the software works? The company says its servers crawl the Internet and analyse web pages, selecting pages with high quality, broad coverage and small size.

Consumers can download Webaroo and selected content onto their laptop and mobile devices (PDA/smart phone). Or purchase a device with Webaroo bundled in. The company has more plans. Later this year, it plans to unveil a new version of the software it will call `Web to Go', that will allow people to search for any topic they desire offline.

First Published: Apr 15, 2006 23:39 IST