Microsoft Unveils New Enterprise Search Road Map

LAS VEGAS — Feb. 10, 2009 — Microsoft Corp. today disclosed a detailed road map for its enterprise search products, including the introduction of FAST Search for SharePoint and FAST Search for Internet Business.

FAST Search for SharePoint, a new search server that will add the high-end search capabilities of FAST ESP into Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, will be available as a part of the next release of the Microsoft Office system. For customers who are interested in the product, Microsoft also announced ESP for SharePoint, a special offering that allows customers to purchase high-end search capabilities today, with a defined licensing path to FAST Search for SharePoint when it becomes available.

“These two new products offer compelling, new choices for our customers,” said Kirk Koenigsbauer, general manager for the Office Business Platform Group at Microsoft. “FAST Search for SharePoint will combine high-end search with the broad portal, collaboration, content management and business intelligence capabilities of SharePoint. And FAST Search for Internet Business will deliver search capabilities tuned to drive more revenue through Web sites.”

“We now have the largest team of engineers and researchers in the world dedicated to enterprise search,” said Bjørn Olstad, Microsoft Distinguished Engineer. “They’re passionate about search and committed to pushing the limits of what’s possible. Today’s road map announcement is significant because it not only discloses what’s next from Microsoft, but it also provides a framework for delivering continuous innovation in the future.”

A New Choice in Business Productivity Search

Businesses of all sizes have historically been forced to choose between powerful, high-end search platforms or more mainstream, out-of the-box infrastructure solutions. FAST Search for SharePoint gives customers a new choice: a search server that integrates the high-end search capabilities of FAST ESP into SharePoint Server. By enhancing SharePoint’s portal, collaboration and content management capabilities with sophisticated search, FAST Search for SharePoint will enable a whole new range of business productivity applications.

A Powerful Platform for Building Search-Driven Web Sites

FAST Search for Internet Business will extend FAST ESP and will provide a flexible platform for building engaging, search-driven Web site experiences. The product will be available in beta in the second half of this year and will feature new capabilities for content integration and interaction management, helping enable more complete and interactive search experiences.

“With companies generating terabytes of data in the course of their daily operations, information has become the lifeblood of business,” said Rita Knox, Gartner Inc. “The ability to find and retrieve information that’s buried in back-office file servers or scattered across unstructured caches of content to identify a business trend, qualify a sales lead, answer an urgent customer query or identify an internal expert is an indispensable business capability.”

Microsoft partners are also looking forward to being able to provide customers with a great range of enterprise search solutions.

“Microsoft’s new road map means businesses will have the ability to deploy a companywide enterprise search platform that is fully integrated with their existing collaboration, productivity and business management solutions,” said Jørn Ellefsen, chief executive officer at Comperio AS. “That’s a compelling package and one that will spur greater adoption of high-end search capabilities with all the opportunities this generates for partners like us.”

Members of the press can find more information about news and activities at the FASTforward’09 event, and view online demos and keynote addresses, at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/fastforward.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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