Focus on Customers
Asked if these new search offerings from Microsoft bring any capabilities that Google does not already offer, Beighle said that Microsoft is not benchmarking itself against what Google is doing but is focusing on its customer problems. "We are not focusing on search as an isolated topic but, rather, in light of the broader information management needs that customers have and how we can bring SharePoint and Windows Live Search to bear on those problems," he said."Customers put a high value on that," he said. Gates will also use his keynote speech to announce that Office SharePoint Server 2007, which provides capabilities around portals and collaboration and enterprise content management, business processes, intelligence and forms, will also bring something known as Knowledge Network.
Read more here about SharePoint, which could be Microsofts sleeper hit.
This is a capability that lets information workers tap into social networks and search for experts on particular topics.
The way it works is that when a company implements Knowledge Network, it goes through and automatically profiles people based on the e-mail in their Outlook folders and the profile they set up of themselves on the Web.
It then builds an automated profile, which users can look at, adjust and modify, Beighle said.
"It also allows companies to integrate their corporate instant messaging systems or presence information into the results set so users can see which experts are immediately available to contact, and get the information they need right away," he said.
Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on enterprise search technology.
On the question of whether enterprise customers have indicated a willingness to pay for search technologies, Beighle said customers know that they can get a lot more productivity out of their employees if they can make better decisions by getting the information they need more quickly.