Feeds

back to article Microsoft kills FAST's Linux and Unix search biz

Customers of FAST's Enterprise Search Platform (ESP) on Linux or Unix better develop a taste for Windows or look elsewhere for their enterprise search. Microsoft- which bought FAST in 2008 - has announced it will stop development of FAST's ESP core on Linux and Unix after the release of Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 later this …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge
FAIL

Double plus good!

"He said that by only focusing on Windows, the company can deliver more innovation per release in the future."

What does that even mean?

ESP, now with 20% more innovation!*

* Unverifiable claim, may not be true.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

On top of that, false.

I've heard reports from certain open source database developers that it takes about three times as much effort to develop on windows as it does on unix. I wouldn't know, because even for the windows version of the open source project I occasionally contribute to, most use linux to develop and compile.

As another anecdote point, if you want to build for multiple platforms, you'd better start porting early and keep it up to date often, othewise you might end up with unnecessairily built-in platform dependencies that are expensive to work around and degrade user experience. Even between such POSIXly-related cousins as FreeBSD and linux there are quirks that need ironing out by abstracting them in a few platform specific modules to be built upon by the rest of the code. (And incidentally it's better and cheaper to develop on FreeBSD and port to linux than the other way around, for platform quirk reasons.) If that doesn't happen, porting gets progressively more expensive, and annoying. And thus easily dispensed with.

So, no, what this micros~1 fellow type chief fscker-up is spinning here is a hundred percent pure micros~1 drivel. ``Get the facts'', indeed.

0
0
Gold badge

Good luck with that...

Good luck with that... with the general pain (in terms of security, speed, and monetary costs) of Windows, I would assume people will stick with what they have or go go to Lucerne.

And, I am amused by the head of FAST saying they are working on interoperability, while making their product single-platform. I really doubt they will be able to "innovate" more by going single platform, indexing and search are a lot of file I/O (particularly to build the index) and some CPU cycles, and if it's distributed then network I/O. The closest thing to being non-portable would be mmap (memory mapping files) if they do that, and threading. But (other than Windows) those follow POSIX standards too. So, if FAST just becomes a part of SharePoint then so be it, but I for one won't consider that particularly innovative.

1
0
Silver badge

How much more tin ?

How much more hardware will you need to buy to get a comparable system when you replace *nix with MS Windows ? I seem to remember that when moving Hotmail from freeBSD to MS Windows the replacement ratio was 5::1.

4
0

Wrong FAST, my bad!

Did anyone else read the article with the prior notion that FAST was a reference to the Federation Against Software Theft? Made the first few paragraphs quite amusing!

4
0
Silver badge
WTF?

Well I certainly did

Who's this other FAST then?

0
0
Bronze badge

Fast

FAST was a search engine that debuted a couple months before Google did, during that short time they were, or so I thought at the time, the best search engine available, then Google came an I never looked back.

I am surprised they are stil along even if borged by Microsoft

0
0
Stop

Is anyone suprised?

Microsoft buys company... company drops its Linux/Unix software. Just like when Apple a acquires a company... they discontinue the Widows versions of its software. Time and time again.. it's no surprise.

Wake me up when Microsoft start playing the Apple game of trying to tie software to hardware. When they launch their "Microsoft Certified Hardware" scheme and only permit Windows to be used with Microsoft-labelled or Microsoft certified hardware (inc. peripherals). Naturally they would only certify the hardware of vendors who promise to never provide drivers or support for Linux or Unix platforms. Then, like Apple they could go around suing anyone who installs Windows on computers that are not Microsoft-labelled or certified.

7
1
Big Brother

Ringy-dingy?

@Kristian B Microsoft Certified Hardware? Weren't they trying that, already, under the cover of some proposals for full-spectrum consumer DRM? I thought it were....

4
0

Microsoft Certified Hardware

Well they are on their way. I was in a well known uk pc store the other day and the salesman claimed that I would void the hardware warranty on a laptop if I put a different OS on it other than the one supplied with it. That only got a simple reply from me: Goodbye!

4
0
Megaphone

@Kristian B: wake up

Microsoft do make software which can only run Microsoft certified hardware and is compatible only with Microsoft certified peripherals: it's called the XBox 360 operating system. Not only that but said hardware won't run any software that isn't digitally signed and approved by Microsoft, so third parties are not free to publish their own software. Of course this is nothing new, it's true of all game consoles and to not quite the same extent, all closed hardware platforms.

I don't see how Microsoft are any different to Apple in preventing the XBox 360 operating system running on compatible PowerPC hardware, versus Apple not wanting Mac OS X to be ran on any compatible Intel hardware. Both are pretty much superficial limitations, but both companies are perfectly entitled to do so in order to protect their business interests. Likewise Microsoft are equally entitled to drop Unix support for FAST, it's their choice. It may upset some existing users but I'm guessing the owners of FAST would have seen this coming when they sold out to Microsoft.

0
0
Gates Horns

A leopard never changes it's spots

Microshaft up to their old nasty business practices again

6
0
Thumb Down

Remember Fox Software

Microsoft buy up innovative small companies, rip off the technology and leave people who have invested time and money in those products high and dry.

Its not business its just bloody mindless bullying.

6
0
Coffee/keyboard

Nuff said

'He also said Microsoft is "investing in interoperability" ...'

Wow.

0
0
Linux

And the moral of this story is:

If Microsoft buys any company with a Linux product that you are using. It is time for you to find another product.

Or just insist on OSS for everything. :)

7
0
Bronze badge
Grenade

Well said

Yup. Time for it's users to move on to something else.

0
0

Who cares

They all do it. Google, Apple, MS, IBM , Sun, etc. I mean at least they are not stealing it.

0
2
Paris Hilton

interoperability? I'm sure that is really part of their plan.

that is just SOOOOoooo over used by Microsoft PR these days it's funny. I really love when they use that when talking about open source software. You know the stuff, where the source code is 100% open for viewing so there's nothing hidden or hiding.

Interoperability in the Microsoft dictionary means it all resides in Microsoft code and if not it is tied to some strange patent issue which makes you wonder when they'll pull the rug out from under you.

No Windows product is safe from this because Microsoft wants everything to run on Windows or it does not run.

Paris because if you don't do it her way, she leaves.

1
0
Bronze badge
Pint

Well said!

Interoperability, hmmm. "We use TCP for the network layer and you have a browser for the GUI don't you? What more do you people want?!"

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Yeah, right...

After almost 30 years of cross-platform development of large-scale (10M loc) distributed systems software on Unix (Solaris, HP-UX, Tru64, AIX), Linux, and Windows (all software running equally well on all platforms) I can only say... BS!!! to Olstad. At least regarding his comment "only focusing on Windows, the company can deliver more innovation per release in the future". That is just SO bogus! Unfortunately, Bjørn seems to have had more than his company acquired by Microsoft. I think his integrity was purchased as well.

1
0
Linux

Can't we all...

Just get along???

0
0
Gold badge

Re: hotmail

Yeah the hotmail conversion was pretty brutal from what I've read (performance-wise). I do think Microsofts done a lot of work to improve the Windows kernels server performance since then, that was after all the Windows 2000 days. Not so much that I'd expect windows server to outrun Linux or FreeBSD (since they've also made performance improvements over the years), but I don't think it's quite the bloodbath it used to be. Of course, I've read sharepoint's straight up bloated so if FAST is going into it all bets are off.

1
0
Pint

Well that's certainly one way to go about it

Oh and I so notice the diplomatic, "Other Operating Systems" accolade, in reference to that domain including Linux. Marketards beware, Microsoft is moving on objective.....

P.S. @Henry Wertz 1: I presume, sir, that you had meant to refer to Apache Lucene. Cheers.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Double speak

"He said that by only focusing on Windows, the company can deliver more innovation per release in the future."

Or put in plain English.

By focusing on Windows alone we don't have to pay anyone to port the code and can thus make more money out of it.

0
0
Bronze badge

So it's not like internet explorer all over again?

Maybe they realized FAST on Linux is so market-leadingly good that a limit has been reached. MS does not fear the Mozilla's of the search world.

0
0
Grenade

@David Ramsey...

...yes it is business.

The same goes for all those whinging bastards moaning about Cadburys.

No one is FORCING them to sell (well occasionally the receivers will, but thats totally diferrent). Microsoft offered a shitload of cash. the owners added up the figures in there head (lets see..yes thats a tidy profit) and sold, they knew full well what would happen, but at the end of the day, they sold it for a big fat profit, like any sensible business person would do.

So stop being a moron and learn about the business world.

Now would any Linux people like to pay be £1millon to say that MS are evil, that I've just talked utter bollocks and that we all should live in tents and grow beards? Willing to negotiate.

1
2
Gold badge
Happy

@Kristian B

"When they launch their "Microsoft Certified Hardware" scheme and only permit Windows to be used with Microsoft-labelled or Microsoft certified hardware (inc. peripherals). Naturally they would only certify the hardware of vendors who promise to never provide drivers or support for Linux or Unix platforms. "

Consider it done. I think you need to look up "Paladium" or "Trusted computing." this is DRM territory. However actually putting out major hardware with the MS logo on is unlikely. Microsoft's *only* friends are hardware suppliers. MS gives them the 50% (and Office) OS bloat needed to justify scrapping PC's every 18-21 months.

0
0
Linux

"we recognize that our future focus on Windows means change.,"

So I could choose to stick with you and not really know if this is just the first of many painful changes to come OR I can change away from this product altogether, just once and avoid unnecessary IT expenditure in the future.... tough one that!!

1
0
Bronze badge
Linux

Cross platform

for Microsoft, the definition is capable of running on the current product and the previous product. That is it...

and as for Microsoft dropping development on a Linux based product in order to increase innovation... hahahahahahahahahahahahahah

Microsoft are completely incapable of innovating anything except inventive new FUD...

2
0
Silver badge

What confused me

was that when I was alive FAST was the Federation Against Software Theft, and when you said Microsoft had bought it I was very surprised

0
0
Unhappy

Typical Microsoft business chess move...

Sounds like another case of Embrace, Extend and Extinguish to ultimately help boost Windows by attempting to push some corporate customers of Linux back towards Windows.

1
0
FAIL

Another layer of FAST FAIL

Aside from FAST's primary product not being "all that" as some people used to say - various other proprietary search vendors were doing similar stuff in the late 1990s, and yes, those vendors also ran Internet search engines - I'm sure that all the clueless organisations who bought FAST's products and who reassured themselves that it was still a good thing after the Microsoft takeover are now having strategy meetings and fretting about migrations and reliability and server licences and stuff that they could have avoided if they'd bothered to use something even marginally more open and better maintained (in the corporate sense).

I'm sure that the Windows-only regime is also a bitter pill for any of the FAST engineers who haven't already quit, too, but engineering morale is usually a secondary consideration in such businesses. Meanwhile, I wonder if the Norwegian prosecutors have bothered to pick up the case of the misreported financials that went on before the Microsoft acquisition, or whether it's still not worth getting out of bed for.

In any case, FAST customers can just see this as Microsoft tightening the screws as was always going to happen. Many of them run Internet services that I'm sure will eventually end up competing with Microsoft's own offerings, so it shouldn't come as a surprise, but given the levels of cluelessness in the average Internet business's management team, it probably will.

0
0
Megaphone

Lucene? Alternatives?

Is it worth mentioning that Autonomy's IDOL Server also continues to run on Linux and Unix platforms - though not open source?

0
0
Boffin

Free Software Alternatives

Yes, proprietards, there are some and they're in widespread use!

Lucene, Nutch and Solr; Xapian, Omega, Flax; Sphinx. This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you're willing and able to build your own stuff or you want to integrate things more tightly than horsing around with some vendor's perverse "push the document in the slot and wait" interface to their gold-plated solution, start with the low-level stuff. Otherwise, take a look at the higher-level stuff, or just use some kind of search appliance solution, of which there are increasingly many.

0
0
Silver badge
Linux

Oops, wrong FAST

Thought at first you meant the Fucking Arseholes and Stupid Tossers. Had a visit from them once, possibly acting on a tip-off from our supplier (we bought in enough parts to make 20 PCs for our office, and one copy of Windows XP for someone else).

The look on the guy's face when I said we did nothing to stop staff copying software from their workstations {then running Mandrake Community Edition, with a web browser and OpenOffice.org: everything on them was Open Source} and we would in fact encourage it, was *priceless*.

2
0

I blinked.

What's this FAST again? And it is damning my new 'NIX box?

(I am always being left behind by "new" techy. . .)

(I will have to return my stone tablet and chisels; the hammer makes my hands hurt.)

0
0

Re:Microsoft kills FAST's Linux and Unix..

If you haven't tried open source search yet, now even Microsoft is recommending you consider it:

http://www.lucidimagination.com/Downloads/LucidWorks-for-Solr

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.