Enterprise Search Opportunity

Among the many interesting quotes in the recent Business Week Online Article regarding Microsoft’s Midlife Crisis, I found the following quote suggesting that one of the features scrapped from the initial release of Longhorn will be in the updated file system (WinFS).

In particular, it appears that WinFS will not include the ability to index and search corporate file systems.

“Longhorn will now ship with a scaled-back version of the file system. The current plan, in practical terms, means people will be able to search their PCs for documents and information related to each other, but they won’t be able to reach into corporate servers for similar files.” (link via John Battelle)

Excluding this feature from the initial release will certainly give MSFT more development time, but I also think it may be a way of pushing the features into a separate product such as SharePoint Portal Server.

Whatever MSFT’s reasons, the end result is that this exclusion provides another opportunity for Enterprise Search companies (such as Google) to get entrenched in the corporate infrastructure long before Longhorn hits shelves.