In view of the fact that it has been a year since Microsoft acquired FAST search, there has been a lot of hush-hush about the Enterprise search roadmap. However, at the yearly FAST forward conference, Microsoft’s press release Microsoft Unveils New Enterprise Search Road Map reached the public.
There are no big surprises, but a lot of interesting details to come. Briefly speaking Microsoft is focusing on two areas: search to enhance business productivity and search to earn money online.
Sharepoint and FAST ESP
Here at Findwise we have been working with customers integrating SharePoint and FAST ESP for some time, and ESP certainly adds a lot of value by extending SharePoint’s main strengths: content management and collaboration. Office 14, which will probably see the light early next year, will hopefully add more flexibility to their infrastructure solutions out of the box.
More information about the licensing models are yet to come and even though FAST search will continue to develop ESP as a standalone (to run on both Unix and Linux), the roadmap ties existing and potential Microsoft customers closer by presenting search as an integrated part of their business productivity offering.
As for FAST Search Internet Business Microsoft’s target group are companies looking for earning money online. During FAST forward 2007 there was a lot of talk about the future search driven portals and during the 2008 event about the ability to understanding user intent.
Today online consumers have higher expectations when it comes to search and the ability to show related information (such as Amazon’s “people that bought this product also bought”..) as well as showing contextual advertising (related to search terms, geographical location etc) and recommendations will create loyal customers. FAST search has quite a few customers using search for strategic online business so one should keep an eye on the release of the new beta version during 2009.
If you read Swedish, Helge Legernes, one of the founders of Findwise is giving his comment in Computer Sweden.