Today, Im very happy to write about our continued momentum in Enterprise Search! At the sold out SharePoint Conference here in Seattle, we're launching Search Server and Search Server Express to deliver on promise of enterprise search for the masses. Coming off the heals of our announcement to acquire Fast Search & Transfer in January, we believe Microsoft is the only vendor that can deliver true enterprise class search capabilities for small and medium sized businesses right up to the largest, most demanding companies in the world.

 

Search Server Express delivers the familiar search experience your people expect, along with streamlined installation and administration and improved connectivity to your information.  We've taken the powerful search features of SharePoint and made them available as a stand-alone server.  And by providing this software for free, we’re making enterprise search ubiquitous and available to any company to help them solve the information access needs of their business. 

 

Download Search Server Express today and try it for yourself!

 

Search Server (available for customers to purchase in April) takes these same features and adds high availability and load balancing across multiple servers.  In Q2 of 2008, we'll also release a downloadable feature update which will bring the federation and administration enhancements of Search Server to SharePoint.

 

We also believe an enterprise search solution should provide you with the flexibility to connect with and find your information, wherever it may be.   Our approach to connectivity is to offer both supported and open-standards based solutions to customers. 

 

One of the greatest benefits of this approach is how easy it is for our partners to extend our platform to connect with the content repositories, business systems, and information services you already use.  We've re-launched the Search Connector Gallery as the place you can go to find partners who offer search connectors.  You can expect to see many more connectors added to the gallery over time.

 

Today, Microsoft partners like BearingPoint, Avanade, XMLaw, Core Technologies, BA-Insight, Captaris, Compugen, ConceptSearching, HP, IDV Solutions, iMason, Symantec, and Vorsite are also introducing new offerings to support these products.  I envision numerous ways our partners can deliver additional value to you though their expertise and solutions in this growing market. 

 

Since November, we've encouraged partners to learn more about how to extend Microsoft's enterprise search products.  Over 4,000 partners have enrolled in our QuickStart program for Enterprise Search.  I'd like to share with you some of what they've told us about the value they're delivering to customers in their own words:

 

Microsoft Search Server allows us to deliver an extremely cost effective and highly scalable Enterprise Search solution.  For the first time, we can clearly differentiate a feature, cost, and operations advantage for deploying MSS over its competitive offerings.”  - Jeff Dunmall, Principal, iMason 

 

”Increasingly we are seeing Microsoft's enterprise search technology forming the cornerstone of our customers' knowledge management efforts.”  - Kevin Bellinger,  Global Solution Manager, Digital Collaboration at  Avanade

 

Federated search connectors in Search Server 2008 will provide Enterprise Vault customers the ability to search their archived content and live content from the same search interface.  One of the primary goals of Enterprise Vault is to provide a seamless end-user experience.  Our federated locations for Search Server 2008 will help to further our ability to deliver on this goal.”  - David Scott, Group Product Manager, Symantec

 

XMLAW has been delivering SharePoint-based search and portal solutions to the top-end legal industry since the introduction of SharePoint 2003…. With the introduction of Microsoft Search Server 2008, we’re building on a more competitive platform.  By adding federated search connectors to our legal search solutions we can deliver to more of our client’s needs, making it easier to position SharePoint as an enterprise search investment that can span their other search investments.”  - Rob Saccone, President and CEO of XMLAW

 

I'd like to thank all of the Microsoft customers, partners, and employees who worked together to help us bring these exciting products to market!  If you've had a positive experience using our products, we'd love to hear your story.

 

Kirk Koenigsbauer

General Manager,

SharePoint Business Group