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February 19, 2006

Say Goodbye to FrontPage and Jeeves

Goodbye, FrontPage

Microsoft will close the book on its FrontPage Web-design program with the release of Office 2007, formerly known as Office 12, late this year.

Microsoft acquired FrontPage in the mid-1990s, and it soon outdistanced Adobe's PageMill and other popular low-cost WSIWYG Web-creation tools.

FrontPage does serve as the foundation for two different Web-design programs: SharePoint Designer 2007, which is intended for organizations using the SharePoint server-based Web-development platform; and Expression Web Designer, which appears to be outside of the Office application family.

Goodbye, Jeeves

As expected, the butler Jeeves will not be the logo for anymore. By the end of February the iconic valet will disappear from the site he has graced since it debuted in 1996.

The decision to axe Jeeves was taken in September 2005 but he stayed in place while the company investigated how users felt about the change. The removal of Jeeves has been driven by a broader effort to re-brand the Ask search site.

Jeeves wanted to be a friendly and trustworthy wizard that will answer all your questions. It turned out that Ask Jeeves is just a search engine that knows about NLP (Natural Language Processing) and semantic web as much as Google does.

A former Ask employee started a blog that wants to save Jeeves: "I want to save Jeeves, and I want YOUR help.", but the decision has already been made.

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