Menu
Microsoft unveils enterprise search products

Microsoft unveils enterprise search products

Microsoft is rolling out a pair of lower-cost enterprise search offerings.

Microsoft is set to release a pair of low-cost enterprise search products, a move one company official said comes at a time when the market in question is "at a tipping point."

The products, Search Server 2008 and Search Server Express 2008, are based on technology pulled out of SharePoint Server 2007, according to Jared Spataro, group product manager for enterprise search at Microsoft.

The Express edition -- available Tuesday in release candidate form -- is a free download. It contains the same features as the commercial product but is restricted to a single installation. Both products will be generally available in the first half of 2008, Microsoft said.

The commercial version will be priced to sell into a market Microsoft believes is still widely untapped. "We hope it will help enterprise search move from kind of a sleepy town to more of a mainstream market," Spataro said.

The established high-end vendors in enterprise search, such as Autonomy, offer products that work but can cost well into six figures, he said: "That's a lot for people who are just trying to get search into their environment."

Yet providing interested companies with cheaper entry into enterprise search is not a new idea. Google set the pace with its bargain-priced Mini and mid-level Search Appliance. And IBM late last year joined forces with Yahoo to produce a free search product, IBM Omnifind Yahoo Edition.

It remains to be seen just how affordable Microsoft's offerings will be. Spataro said pricing has not been finalized, but he vowed the cost will be competitive.

Pricing for Google's Mini begins at US$1,995 and goes up, depending on the number of documents being indexed. The Google Search Appliance, which can handle more documents and crawl enterprise databases, costs US$30,000 to start.

Features within Microsoft's Search Server include a streamlined installation process and support for federated search. The latter is built atop the open source project OpenSearch, Spataro said. However, both the Express and commercial edition of Search Server will naturally lack some of the higher-end features found in SharePoint Server, such as the ability to search by people and expertise.

One observer said Microsoft's launch may follow other companies, but hardly comes too late.

"The market has been seeded by Google and others, but [Microsoft has] a history of taking technologies that were specialized and making them mainstream," said Guy Creese, an analyst with Burton Group.

The key will be the channel, Creese said. "I think the hidden weapon here is Microsoft's partners," he said. Those companies stand ready to offer support services for Search Server, as well as variations tuned for different verticals, such as the legal community, he noted. "The smartness of this is, Microsoft ends up with an infinitely variable appliance because of its partners," Creese said.

Search Server is solid enough from a purely technological perspective, Creese said. "If you compare it to the best-of-breed stuff, there are all kinds of tweaks they could put in," he said. "Certainly for SMBs, I think it's excellent."

Microsoft has set up a Web site for the new products at www.microsoft.com/enterprisesearch.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Channel kicks 2021 into gear as After Hours returns to Auckland

Channel kicks 2021 into gear as After Hours returns to Auckland

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar with a bumper crowd of partners, distributors and vendors descending on The Pantry at Park Hyatt in Auckland to kick-start 2021.

Channel kicks 2021 into gear as After Hours returns to Auckland
The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Show Comments