An excerpt from a July, 2007 joint Microsoft/FAST press release:
“In today’s competitive environment, Enterprise Search has become a strategic imperative for many companies,” said Jeff Teper, corporate vice president, Office SharePoint Server Group at Microsoft. “With the rich innovations in Office SharePoint Server for enterprise content management, collaboration and search, combined with FAST’s expertise and solutions for specialized and high-end environments, businesses now have access to a full range of information access capabilities.”
In addition to supporting 80 languages, FAST ESP will enable Office SharePoint Server’s users to employ advanced navigation capabilities to refine results and find facts, leveraging the power of FAST’s Contextual Insight® technology to enrich the customer experience. It also uses Office SharePoint Server as a platform, extending Web Parts capabilities to expose customers and industry partners to more relevant information. “FAST and Microsoft understand that in today’s world it’s not just about searching for information, it is about connecting people with the right information quickly in a security-enhanced environment,” said John Markus Lervik, CEO of FAST. “The market’s rapid acceptance of Office SharePoint Server is a phenomenon. By extending Office SharePoint Server’s content management, collaboration and search capabilities with FAST ESP’s advanced analytics dynamic navigation capabilities, we are enabling users to derive even greater value from Office SharePoint Server 2007. Together with Microsoft, we are enabling organizations to maximize their existing information assets, putting the data to work for them and positioning them for future growth.”
1. Jeff Teper positioned FAST + SharePoint for "specialized and high-end environments"
2. FAST CEO John Markus Lervik focused on "Contextual Insight" and security-enhanced features.
The focus here is clearly on enterprise search -- multifaceted, "permissioned" search, so the Microsoft FAST acquisition is more about SharePoint and its direct competitors than it is, at the moment, about, e.g., Microsoft versus Google.