There are some open source search engine initiatives taking place right now, one such example is Nutch. But what if, what if, Ask Jeeves, one of the "big four" took its engine and brought it to the open source community. I believe that is the topic of discussion at the Ask Jeeves blog, under the recent entry they wrote Mozilla's on Fire.
Many people are speculating an Ask Jeeves branded firefox browser. But that seems a bit too simple.
In the entry, Ask, discusses three things:
(1) Making Ask Jeeves desktop search an open source project.
(2) AJ-branded or co-branded Firefox browser.
(3) Technology called Octopus, which can benefit from the XUL platform.
They seem very interested and inspired by the open source community. I wonder, if a company like Ask Jeeves (publicly traded) can take such a step.
I opened this up for discussion at the Search Engine Watch Forums, I would love to hear what you have to say.