FAST – a Microsoft Subsidiary


Today, the deal where Microsoft buys FAST, was completed. That means that the Norwegian search engine vendor Fast Search & Transfer is now a fully owned subsidiary of Microsoft.

The FAST ESP product will continue to be offered on all current platforms, and the FAST sales and tech organization continues to operate almost as before, so customers and users will not experience any noise around this transaction.

FAST, when under the MS umbrella, will of course increase focus within the MS Office Sharepoint segment, and will together with MS engineers make an even smoother packaging of the technologies to new and existing customers of high-end Sharepoint sites with large data volumes.

Expect to see continued innovation from FAST in the years to come, and expect also to see a shift towards stronger support for the Windows platform. It is a known fact that the Linux platform has been the most stable up until now for ESP, but now this might shift as Windows versions will get the major focus in QA and patching.

Let us not hope that the Linux, AIX and Solaris versions will be discontinued. I don’t expect that to happen in the short term, as the press release clearly states that they will be supported, and also this blog post by MS’s Kirk Koenigsbauer in the Sharepoint division states that We’re making a pragmatic decision to continue to delight a core part of FAST’s customer base that has chosen the Linux/UNIX OS. You can bet that we’ll innovate on Windows, too, and over time we hope customers will see .NET as a preferred platform choice. Let’s hope that lasts for many many years to come, so that history can be re-written in this area.

Congratulations, Microsoft, with an excellent new member organization

Congratulations, John Marcus Lervik with the new role of leading MS’s Enterprise Search Business!

See also official press release and FAST’s customer FAQ

Comments (4)

  1. spyresearch

    Does this mean that the Norwegian search engine vendor Fast Search will be calling home now? should we expect our machine to call home to M.S. every time we use this ? It does have a desktop search, may be they could use that to tie it to their O.S. like they did their browser. (The reason I don’t use it!)
    Be sure and let us know so we can make preparation’s to jump ship!

  2. I wouldn’t worry about that. The FAST search engine is and will be in use in all different kind of applications, web sites and company intranets for years to come about the same way as today. Why should it wanna “call home”? Even more companies will adopt it in small-scale as the pricing model dramatically changes for the small intranet deployments, and I guess one thing MS could do is to create a federation between Live search and a companys intranet search results. But customer data would still stay within the firewalls. We’ll also see FAST technoloy making its way into Live Search as well.

    The only thing I’d worry about is to let MS host your business search index in a possible future (Windows Azure) hosted index, with all the security implications that could cause.

    It will be an exciting evolution to follow, and see who manages to predict where search is going and how to leverage the technology to keep up.

  3. spyresearch

    Well; I hope M.S. keeps getting the many messages and knows how to read between the lines;such as how one can hardly resist poking at them a bit to keep them reminded that not everything on the net and peoples machines should be so Live, and somethings are better off left with the owner in control. That way maybe they won’t make the same mistakes twice. They have come a long way from open active-x (starting with wide open from the wrong end! So to speak) and things like interpreting everything with everything else being no way to go.
    So maybe I haven’t drifted too far away; and I hope the search engine works out great for both sides.
    Later friend

  4. Pingback: FAST to abandon Linux and Unix | Cominvent AS - Enterprise search consultants

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