January 8, 2008

Microsoft is buying FAST; what about FAST’s contractual prohibition?

As you’ve probably heard by now, Microsoft is buying enterprise search vendor FAST (Fast Search & Transfer). FAST wasn’t always focused on enterprise search; in fact, FAST built alltheweb.com. And when FAST sold alltheweb.com to Inktomi, it agreed not to reenter the web search business itself. Inktomi was subsequently bought by Yahoo, a company not much inclined to do Microsoft any favors in the web search arena.

I look forward to hearing why this won’t be a problem.

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4 Responses to “Microsoft is buying FAST; what about FAST’s contractual prohibition?”

  1. Tom Culler on January 8th, 2008 1:31 pm

    My guess is that, as we speak, Microsoft is furiously looking through that contract and looking for the word ‘Internet’ rather than ‘web’. I assume that they will start with subsuming the FAST search product and positioning it as an Enterprise search tool behind the veneer of Office 2007 or $harePoint server (Enterprise Edition, of course); they’ll eventually digest the product and add the functionality to Windows Live Search, and hold Yahoo! off with a lawyer’s fist (clenching a wallet, of course.)

    – Tom

  2. Curt Monash on January 8th, 2008 2:24 pm

    The conference call has now started, and Jeff Raikes is positioning FAST clearly as enterprise search, integrated w/ SharePoint. $5000/knowledge-worker/year spent looking for misplaced info (not just pure text) and so on.


  3. Text Technologies»Blog Archive » More on Microsoft in enterprise search on January 8th, 2008 3:24 pm

    […] up on my prior posts about Microsoft’s impending acquisition of FAST, they’ve now had the conference […]

  4. Text Technologies»Blog Archive » Implications of Microsoft’s bid for Yahoo on February 1st, 2008 9:32 am

    […] will recombine both parts of the old FAST/alltheweb.com Therefore, Microsoft will be able to use the same technology for web and enterprise search, to the […]

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