SOFTWARE

Microsoft Releases Desktop Search

Microsoft is launching a desktop search product for businesses that use Windows 2000 or Windows XP. The new release can be downloaded for free at www.microsoft.com/windows/desktopsearch. The software giant said the tool "works seamlessly" with other Microsoft products, including Internet Explorer and Outlook.

STOCKS

Amazon Replaces AT&T on S&P 500

Shares of Amazon.com replaced AT&T on Standard & Poor's 500-stock index in light of the telecom giant's pending acquisition by SBC Communications. Standard & Poor's said United Parcel Service will replace AT&T in the S&P 100 index.

LEGAL

Suing Over Other 'Berries'

Research In Motion, developer of the BlackBerry, has filed two lawsuits against companies that use "berry" names: software company BackOffice, whose technology division is called Cranberry; and toymaker Sakar International, which sells organizers with the names StrawBerry, BlueBerry, GreyBerry, GrapeBerry and GooseBerry. Sakar has pledged to change the names of its Cyber Gear toys, but BackOffice has resisted.

EPlus, a Herndon business software company, earned $1.9 million (21 cents a share) in its fiscal second quarter, down from $2.1 million (22 cents) in the comparable year-ago period. Revenue in the three months ended Sept. 30, rose to $174.2 million from $153.2 million. Shares of EPlus fell 36 cents, to close at $13.50.

Halifax, an Alexandria technology services company, reported a loss of $172,000 (5 cents a share) in its fiscal second quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a profit of $44,000 (1 cent). The results in the year-ago period included $540,000 in income from discontinued operations. Revenue rose nearly 25 percent, to $14 million. Shares of Halifax fell 3 cents, to close at $3.40.

MobilePro, a Bethesda wireless company, swung to a profit of $523,900 (less than a penny a share) in its fiscal second quarter from a loss of $1.7 million (less than a penny). Revenue more than quintupled, to $26.5 million from $5 million.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.