A few days ago, Microsoft announced it’s intent to abandon the development of a Linux/Unix version of FAST, the corporate search engine it purchased a couple years ago. The decision didn’t really take anyone by surprise, being that Linux is Windows’ only real rival in the world of servers. So, obviously, Microsft would have no interest in developing solutions for the competition’s operating system; not to mention that FAST is increasingly integrated with SharePoint, which just further goes to prove my point.
From a strategic point of view, the choice is quite understandable. But from a sales standpoint, it seems to be an enormous sacrifice and a huge opportunity for the competition. From what I have read, at least half of FAST users have Linux/Unix (some actually say it’s close to 80%). This means that these users will have use another company’s search engine should they decide to change theirs. With this aspect in mind, I think Microsoft would have been better off if they continued development on systems which differ from Windows. However, if think about the fact that our search engine is compatible with Linux, thus giving us more sales opportunities, then I think they made the right decision 🙂