Today at Enterprise Search Summit West in San Jose, Calif., Microsoft Corp. unveiled Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express, a new addition to its enterprise search lineup. Search Server 2008 Express, which will be available as a free download, combines simplicity of installation and ease of use with a powerful set of search features, including new security-enhanced capabilities that help businesses connect to a wide range of information.
A release candidate of Search Server 2008 Express is available today at for download and evaluation.
"Information workers waste as much as 9.5 hours each week on searches that don't turn up the right information, which can add up to millions of dollars in lost productivity every year*," said Kirk Koenigsbauer, general manager of the SharePoint Business Group at Microsoft.
"We believe there is a core set of enterprise search features that every business should have, and we're delivering them for free in Search Server 2008 Express."
In delivering Search Server Express, Microsoft has taken the enterprise class search capabilities of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and made them available as a stand-alone server for free.
Search Server Express is designed to be easy to configure and administer, allowing IT professionals to go from download to search in as little as 30 minutes.
In addition, Search Server Express has no preset document limits, so it will scale to meet a company's evolving needs.
For users, Search Server Express provides advanced security and easy access to relevant, action-oriented results using a familiar Web search experience.
"Our research shows that time wasted searching equals money lost for businesses that haven't provided effective search," said Sue Feldman, vice president for Search and Digital Marketplace Technologies, IDC. "This year, with products like Search Server Express, cost is no longer an issue for companies that may have thought such a solution was either too complex, or too expensive."
Enterprise search has the greatest impact when it links companies to a variety of information.
Today Microsoft announced two important search product portfolio enhancements that provide connectivity to a number of common customer information sources.
First, free connectors that index content from EMC Corp.'s Documentum and IBM Corp.'s FileNet are scheduled to be available across the portfolio of Microsoft search products in early 2008.
Microsoft has also added new federated search capabilities based on the OpenSearch standard. Many applications and services already support OpenSearch, and Microsoft is working with a number of partners, as well as with its own product groups, to create new connections based on the standard.
Several companies -- including Open Text Corp., Business Objects SA, Cognos Inc. and EMC -- have already signed on to develop federated search connectors that will enable Microsoft's enterprise search customers to easily connect to their information systems.
"Information access is at the heart of our approach to content management," said Jens Rabe, vice president and general manager of Microsoft Line of Business for Open Text. "We want people inside organizations to have a full view of the content stored within our systems as well as any other. Search Server 2008 Express offers the kind of complete access we think is critical to information management."
IBM and Yahoo launched an enterprise search engine called IBM Omnifind Yahoo! edition which could search up to 500,000 documents for free.
Google also had a free desktop search solution called Google Desktop for Enterprise which was free but came with an optional paid premium support package worth £5000 per year.