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Google Broadens Its Business Offerings

Google Inc. on Thursday unveiled a "mini" search appliance aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, expanding the company's reach into the corporate market.

The Google Mini, like its beefier relative the Google Search Appliance, searches data stores behind a company's intranet, or as the search engine for a public web site. The Mini searches up to 50,000 documents and supports more than 220 file types.

Before the latest release, the Mountain View, Calif., search giant offered enterprise product that was overkill in terms of features and power for SMBs.

"The Mini is addressing an underserved market," Robert Lerner, analyst for market researcher Current Analysis, said. "SMBs are a major growth area for a lot of technologies."

Global 2000 companies have been using search appliances for some time, so it's difficult to sell them something new, Lerner said. SMBs, on the other hand, are ready to buy.

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