Microsoft to Buy FAST
Microsoft is on the hunt for FAST search! They have offered $1.2 billion in cash for Fast Search and Transfer (FAST), one of the more well known enterprise search vendors on the market! So far, the search market has been dominated by players like FAST, Autonomy, Verity and Vivisimo. Even Google has tried, not quite so successfully, to take a big chunk of the market. Now Microsoft could become the shake up king of search. Some of FAST's biggest customers include Comcast, Disney, Microsoft and Pfizer. It offers products in search, e-commerce, mobile and compliance/risk management services. Another interesting fact is that EMC has integrated FAST as part of Documentum 6. Hmmm...Do we smell another acquistion in the works? Microsoft has said it's offer is a 42 percent premium over FAST shares currently traded in Norway. Definitely a hard temptation for shareholders to resist. It's been recommended by FAST's board of directors. Microsoft's current enterprise search focus has been on SharePoint 2007 along with it's new Search Server and Search Server Express. Is it safe to assume then that FAST will be integrated into SharePoint as it's new search platform? Could this be an inkling of things to come for SharePoint? It's expected that this acquisition will lead to more consolidation in the enterprise search market. As it was with pure-play portals, the end of pure-play search may be on the horizon. Who will be the next to make the leap? Maybe Google and Autonomy? Let's watch and see! In a statement, Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft’s Business Division, said: "The combination of Microsoft and FAST gives customers a new choice: a single vendor with solutions that span the full range of customer needs.” Expect to see the transaction completed sometime second quarter this year.