I’m pleased to announce that we're unveiling Microsoft Search Server 2008 today at the Enterprise Search Summit in San Jose!  The really exciting news is that we're also offering a free version of this product – Microsoft Search Server 2008 Expresswhich you can download now as a release candidate.  Our team worked extremely hard to get this release to you, and we’re proud of what we’re delivering today.

Our aim for Search Server Express is to give you a free and powerful enterprise search product that’s incredibly easy for you to deploy.  After you download it, you’ll find it takes just a few minutes to get it up and running.  It’s going to be the fastest way you can bring an enterprise search experience into your business.

But ease of use will be just the first thing you notice.  We also built Search Server Express with enterprise-class features, including relevancy tuning, security-trimmed search results, and great out-of-the-box administration and reporting.  One other significant improvement you’ll find is the removal of any pre-set document limits, giving you a lot of flexibility in the amount information you can index.

We also support federating your searches to any business system or online service supporting the OpenSearch standard.  That means it’s incredibly easy to connect Search Server Express to the information people in your business need to find, wherever it might be.  We believe Microsoft and its partners can offer you the one-stop search experience you’ve been looking for – and today, companies like EMC, Cognos, HP, Business Objects, SAS, and OpenText have already announced their intent to support federation with Search Server and Search Server Express.  We expect many of them to release federated search connectors to coincide with the release of these products in the first half of 2008.

You’re probably asking why we’ve chosen to release an enterprise search product for free.  We’re really passionate about giving you tools that help people in your business find the information they need to get work done.  Every day, companies across the world generate more than 35 million gigabytes of data – we believe there’s a set of enterprise search capabilities every one of them needs in order to make better use of that information.  Today, we’re delivering that to you for free with Search Server Express.

On another level, you can think of Search Server Express as the easiest way to introduce enterprise search to your organization.  Between Search Server Express, Search Server, and Office SharePoint Server – all of which share a common enterprise search platform – we think we’ve got you pretty well covered.

In the meantime, download the Search Server Express release candidate, and let us know what you think on our product forums!

Jonathan Kauffman
General Manager
Enterprise Search