Bjorn Olstad, a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer and the CTO of FAST, has revealed that beyond 2010 there will be no more Microsoft FAST enterprise search products which support Linux and UNIX search cores.
In an official Microsoft Enterprise Search Blog posting, Olstad states that although when Microsoft acquired FAST two years ago there was a commitment to "cross-platform innovation" and that stand-alone versions of ESP that run on Linux and UNIX would continue to be offered, the days of the cross-platform search core are numbered. "With our 2010 products scheduled for release in a few months, we’ve just started to plan for our next wave of products" Olstad says, adding "As a part of that planning process, we have decided that in order to deliver more innovation per release in the future, the 2010 products will be the last to include a search core that runs on Linux and UNIX".
Olstad makes it clear that the search solutions will continue to crawl and index content stored on Linux and UNIX systems, and that the UI controls will work with UI frameworks regardless of the operating system. He also points out that there will be support for the cross-platform search core in the 2010 products (ESP 5.3) for the next 10 years part of the standard support policy covering 5 years mainstream support and 5 years extended support.
But there is no doubting that it is the end of an era, and one that many industry insiders had seen coming from the moment that Microsoft made the acquisition. Olstad admits that the focus on Windows will be "a hard change for some of our customers" but insists it's the right thing to do as it will allow the company to "tap into a valuable set of competencies and assets across Microsoft and deliver better technologies more efficiently to our customers".
Of course, if you happen to be running FAST ESP on a Linux or UNIX platform that will come as cold comfort.