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November 6, 2007

Microsoft pushing enterprise search software

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano at 6:00 AM

Microsoft aims to grab more of the enterprise search market -- searches done across company Intranets as opposed to the broader Internet -- with a pair of new products its announcing today.

The company's Search Server 2008 Express is free software to run internal queries that include internal databases. It can also be set up for external company Web sites used by customers and partners. The technology is the same as what's included in Microsoft's Office SharePoint Server 2007, but is limited to running on a single machine. The company is also preparing a full version of Search Server 2008, which will run on multiple machines.

Pricing for the full product was not announced. But Jared Spataro, a Microsoft enterprise search group product manager, said the company is trying to expand the market for enterprise search, which he said has been limited by the high price of existing software options. He pointed to products from Endeca and Autonomy, which he said cost up to $400,000.

"The biggest competition for us isn't necessarily any of those vendors, but that our customers will continue to do nothing," Spataro said.

Enterprise search, which has been around in various forms since the late 1980s, is reaching a tipping point, he said, pointing to the proliferation of information, greater public awareness of and comfort with search technology, and the improvement of server technology for enterprise search.

Search Server Express requires Windows Server 2003, he said.

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