Microsoft Sells Folio, NXT to Rocket Software

Microsoft will divest itself of two enterprise products, NXT and Folio, selling them to software development company Rocket Software. Microsoft originally created NXT in an effort to attract ISVs to Windows Server products, while Folio came to Microsoft as part of the $1.2 billion acquisition of enterprise search company Fast Search & Transfer in 2008. Microsoft's reasons for the divestment remain cloudy.

Microsoft will divest itself of Folio and NXT, products that facilitate the management of online content, in a deal with Rocket Software, which develops enterprise infrastructure products. No terms of the agreement were disclosed.

Rocket Software will provide support and new product releases to Folio and NXT customers. NXT started life within Microsoft, back in 2006, as part of an initiative to attract ISVs to Windows Server products.

"NXT is designed to make your migration easier and more cost-effective by giving you exclusive resources and benefits at each and every step to help ensure [that] your transition to Microsoft is a success," the NXT Website said at the time.

Under Rocket Software's umbrella, NXT will apparently become "a complete electronic publishing suite for midsized professional reference publishers" that will allow users to "pull, organize and assemble your content ... and distribute it to the Internet, intranet or CD."

Folio, a rich-client application suite for assembling, securing and publishing reference information, began its existence as Folio Corporation in 1987, before being purchased by Mead Data Central (LEXIS-NEXIS), Open Market and NextPage before being acquired by FAST (Fast Search & Transfer) in 2004.

In an FAQ published on the Microsoft Website, Bj??®rn Olstad, CEO of FAST-a specialist in enterprise search acquired by Microsoft for $1.2 billion in 2008-and a Microsoft distinguished engineer, offered little information about why Microsoft had decided to sell Folio/NXT.

"It has been decided to divest these assets to Rocket Software to provide ongoing support and services to our partners and customers who are using these products," Olstad wrote. "After the close of the acquisition, Rocket will be providing support and maintenance to customers and partners who are using the Folio and NXT products. Rocket also will be the recipient for ongoing royalty payments stemming from the publisher and other agreements."

In a Dec. 2 statement, Rocket Software CEO Andy Youniss wrote, "We are pleased that Microsoft selected us to take over the development, service and support for all Folio and NXT customers."

A Web seminar for existing and previous customers, hosted by Rocket Software, will be held on Dec. 9 and can be signed up for here.