Microsoft Beefing Up Enterprise Search
Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled new search tools for the enterprise market in an effort to better compete with competitor Google. The products would make it easier for employees to search and locate information in the vast stores of documents that businesses often amass, the company says.
"Information workers tell us they need more than an Internet search box," explained Kevin Johnson, co-president of the Platforms & Services Division of Microsoft. "They want simple tools that help them effectively manage information stored in multiple locations and that give them quick access to relevant data and people through actionable results, not just lists of links."
The company is unveiling the new search offerings at the annual Microsoft CEO Summit in Redmond. The first of the enhancements would be to the company's search product. Windows Live Search will gain new capabilities that would allow it to act as a single point of entry to multiple search solutions, Johnson said.
"For context, we've been hearing from customers that are frustrated by the inefficiency of having to use different search tools to get information from different content sources," he continued. "What they want is one central location to search and view results."
This offering, code-named "OneView," will bring together Windows Desktop Search, Intranet search through SharePoint, and Internet searching capabilities. Users would also be able to choose which areas they would like to search in, and how they would like the results formatted.
Moreover, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 would gain new features that would make collaboration across large companies much easier and quicker. A key part of this will be the "Knowledge Network," an add-on that would allow employees of a company to make public their areas of expertise through "profiles."
This way, employees in an organization who need to find someone with expertise in a certain field would have a much easier time finding that person through the Knowledge Network program.
"Being able to quickly and easily leverage the collective expertise and social relations across and entire enterprise will provide companies with a distinct competitive advantage," Johnson argued.
Microsoft said that the search functions within SharePoint would be available later this year. A test version of the Windows Live Search features is expected by the summer.