Feeds

Microsoft searching enterprise for success

Never mind Google, watch out for IBM

High performance access to file storage

In its effort to snatch back the baton clumsily handed to Google, Microsoft Tuesday staked a fresh claim to enterprise-wide search. But IBM could be the bigger threat.

Microsoft said its existing Windows Desktop Search would now serve as a "starting point" to search across a "range of data silos". Users can scan email, desktops or shared network drives on machines running Windows 2000 or XP and Office.

The integrated search is provided through the addition of a beta feature to the consumer-centric MSN Search Toolbar launched in May, which IT departments are expected to download to corporate machines.

The beta feature enables users to consolidate search results inside their Office Outlook clients. According to Microsoft, the toolbar enables users to switch between desktop, web or intranet searches.

Developers can further extend Windows Desktop Search to index additional information and file types, using IFilters and protocol handlers available from Microsoft's Developer Network (MSDN), while add-ins to the MSN Search Toolbar are available here.

A Microsoft spokesperson told The Register customers had asked Microsoft to "extend [its] success" in desktop search for corporate environments to improve timely access to information.

Tuesday's launch, announced at Microsoft's IT Forum 2005 in Barcelona, Spain, comes as Microsoft tries to contain the search, advertising and online community beast that is Google.

In recent weeks, Microsoft has launched a "live software" strategy pitching Windows services paid-for by a Google-style advertising business model. Search has also been chafing Microsoft's butt, as it increasingly serves as the foundation for other activities at Google.

However, it is a complex task to unify desktop, enterprise and internet search as they rely on different approaches to ranking and context. And, while much of the focus among the press and Microsoft is on Google, it is IBM which has been steadily pushing an enterprise search strategy through its information management business.

IBM this summer open sourced its Unstructured Information Management Architecture (UIMA) used in the company's WebSphere Information Integrator OmniFind Edition, WebSphere Portal Server and Lotus Workplace. IBM also open sourced the UIMA toolkit, with a view to creating an industry standard for large-scale searching across different information silos.

Sixteen companies promptly annouced support for UIMA, including Attensity, ClearForest, Cognos, Endeca, Factiva, Inxight and SAS. The companies plan to use UIMA as a standard framework for search and text analysis of unstructured information, which inevitably means support for IBM's WebSphere and information manager family of products, and suport for IBM's Workplace.

Workplace combines IBM's portal, collaboration and web content management softare to delivere a cross-platform, cross-device alternative to Windows on clients for information workers.

IBM, meanwhile, joined forces with Google in May to deliver Google Desktop Search for Enterprise, a free tool enabling millions of Lotus Notes users to search Notes email, instant messaging and non-Lotus files. Google Desktop Search is also integrated with Google's search appliances for intranet and web searches.®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.