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February 10, 2009

Microsoft unveils integration plans for Fast Search and Transfer

Posted by David Hunter at 7:24 PM ET.

Microsoft’s $1.2 billion acquisition of Fast Search & Transfer has been a bit bumpy, but today Microsoft unveiled the first integration of FAST technology into their products:

FAST Search for SharePoint, a new search server that will add the high-end search capabilities of FAST ESP into Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal 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.

The next release of Microsoft Office (for now called Office 14) won’t be available until year end at the earliest or as the latest buzz would have it, 2010.

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.

Microsoft is billing this as a detailed roadmap for the integration of the FAST ESP offering for enterprise search into their product line, but it seems more reminiscent of duct tape and baling wire. FAST had a very nice business as an add-on on top of Microsoft products like SharePoint before the acquisition so the puzzle is what is taking so long.

Filed under Acquisitions, Microsoft, Office, SharePoint Server

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