Kozuru Chief Executive John Flowers says they’re, “specifically focusing on providing answers to specifically tailored questions…We are trying to determine who the most authoritative sources are.”
They plan to launch in July 2005.
The article also points out that an Ask Jeeves co-founder David Warthen is on the Kozoru board.
It’s worth noting that Kozoru is building an automated approach to deliver answers versus the OLD Jeeves approach of having humans build question and answer sets.
This blog post contains a couple of links to articles about the answer engine research Microsoft is doing.
You can read more about Kozoru in this article from a Kansas City area paper.
An obstacle Kozoru might face is obtaining access to some of the most authoritative and respected info sources since they’re often fee-based and not available on the open web.
A company like GuruNet that also considers itself an answer engine offers some content for free but to access the full service you need to pay about $40/year. Here’s a positive review of Gurunet from SearchDay.
As I pointed out in this SearchDay article many people already have FREE access to many fee-based resources by way of their local public or university library. These reference databases often contain the full text from thousands of publications, poweful search interfaces, and are accessible 24x7x365 without having to go to the library. All you need is a library card.