Eager to join the ranks of desktop-search providers alongside the likes of Google and Microsoft, Yahoo has announced that it will be quickly integrating its various online services into its own desktop search tool, allowing users to search e-mail and files from their hard drives, with the ability to search across services such as Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger on its way soon.

"Yahoo is licensing technology from startup X1 Technologies Inc., of Pasadena, Calif., for its desktop-search client, which will bring advanced query and preview features to the beta. The beta version, available for Windows, will be a free download."

Yahoo's offering will differ from Google's in that it will separate local results from Web results, with local results appearing in the client app and Web results appearing in the browser.

"Ultimately, we want to create a seamless search experience regardless of where the data lives."

The company has not said when the service will be generally available.