We’ve got great news to share! Last month, Gartner published the 2008 Magic Quadrant for Information Access Technology, and Microsoft was positioned in the Leaders Quadrant. Since the completion of the acquisition, we’ve worked incredibly hard to communicate and demonstrate a combined vision and strategy to our customers and partners. It’s good to know we’re heading in the right direction!

When I talk with customers about search, it’s clear that organizations have very different needs. In fact, many people tell me that even within an organization the one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t work. So over the last year, we’ve announced some bold moves designed to create a compelling portfolio of search applications. With the addition of Search Server Express and the acquisition of FAST, we now have a product line-up designed to meet a broad range of business needs:

  • Some departments or small organizations need search that is quick and easy to set up; we offer Microsoft Search Server Express as a free download so that you can get it up and running in about 30 minutes. We’re excited to see customers like St. Jude Medical and Urbis having quick successes with Express. We’re also seeing partners, such as StartReady, build solutions around Search Server Express to create a search appliance.
  • Many organizations need search as an integral part of a business productivity infrastructure; Search in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server is integrated with other key SharePoint productivity workloads such as portals, collaboration, ECM, business processes and BI. Customers like McCann Worldgroup and Jones Lang LaSalle are all deriving productivity increases with better search in SharePoint. In particular, both companies are promoting collaboration and leveraging in-house experts with people search enhanced by user profiles in MySites.
  • Some organizations face business problems that demand high-end search; FAST ESP offers best-in-class search with extreme scalability, query performance, and other advanced capabilities for sophisticated customer-facing or inside-the-firewall applications. For example, Aerotek and TEKsystems, two of the world’s largest staffing companies, deliver job searching to more than 1.3 million users. In more than 164 million queries, greater than 99.5% of query results came back in less than 2 seconds. For inside-the-firewall productivity, they index more than 10 million complex candidate records with low latency during high volume index updates. We’re also excited to see Pfizer pushing the envelope with an Enterprise Collaboration Framework driven by FAST ESP on top of SharePoint

While our “Leaders Quadrant” position in the Magic Quadrant is an important milestone, we still think of this as the very beginning of our journey. We’re continuing to combine our deep technical expertise with our broad reach to deliver exciting innovations to the market – so you can and should expect great things to come. Stay tuned!

Kirk Koenigsbauer
General Manager,
SharePoint Business Group

Magic Quadrant for Information Access Technology (Gartner Research, Sept. 30, 2008) Microsoft is positioned in the Leaders Quadrant of Gartner, Inc.'s 2008 Magic Quadrant for Information Access Technology. This report assesses vendors with capabilities that go beyond enterprise search to encompass a range of technologies. Their capabilities include search; federated search, content classification, categorization and clustering; fact and entity extraction; taxonomy creation and management; information presentation (for example, visualization) to support analysis and understanding; and desktop search to address user-controlled repositories in order to locate and "invoke" documents, data, e-mail and intelligence.

The Magic Quadrant is copyrighted 2008 by Gartner, Inc. and is reused with permission. The Magic Quadrant is a graphical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner's analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the Magic Quadrant, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors placed in the "Leaders" quadrant. The Magic Quadrant is intended solely as a research tool, and is not meant to be a specific guide to action. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.