As of feb 8th it is official, Microsoft has aquired 97,2% of FAST, and can now legally force the buyout of the rest. Microsoft have been very active on the acquisition front lately, also trying a hostile takeover of Yahoo to gain a share of the global online advertising market which Google currently dominates. There is definitely a cosolidation in the search market towards fewer, bigger players.
With the FAST ESP technology, Microsoft will be able to compete better in the Enterprise search space. It is strange how come the world’s largest software firm does not manage to be innovative themselves, but have to buy other companies all the time to be able to really compete. It will be interesting to observe MS’s long-term roadmap for the FAST technology.