Off the main topic of AdViking, but interesting none the less. As predicted in the post about Getting Religion about Search, some more visibility into Microsoft’s thinking about the importance of Search and how they see FAST helping in this battle was revealed at the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2008.
In the Bill Gates keynote, he talks about the Microsoft approach to Enterprise Search, which is there are three levels to enterprise search and for each of these they have an offering:
- Entry Level – Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express
- Infrastructure – MOSS 2007
- Specialized – This will be covered by FAST
As for FAST, Bill then goes on to say this:
FAST is best in class enterprise search, and it’s got great scale, it handles special data types. In a lot of businesses, this has turned out to be a very, very important tool for them.
Bill then introduces Richard Riley, Senior Technical Product Manager, who does a demo of Search Server Express but more importantly does two demo’s of FAST/SharePoint integration. The first being a great demo of FAST entity extraction to provide navigators mashed up with Silverlight to show the coolest document preview AdViking has seen so far. The second is a demo of zero-term search and how that can applicable to a SharePoint deployment.
You can get the video here (750 kbps) or you should be able to find it from this page: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/sharepointconference/materials.mspx
- Scroll to 14:25 to see Bill Gates last day at Microsoft (In case you haven’t seen it)
- Scroll to 47:50 to see Bill Gates discuss search and FAST
- Scroll to 54:45 to see the FAST/SharePoint integration
Also, Microsoft has made some interesting announcements about providing SharePoint and Exchange as online services. All of this, mapped up with the proposal to purchase Yahoo! reads to AdViking like Microsoft is starting the year very aggressively and are looking to take the fight to Google.