Microsoft Making Fast Grab In Norway

    January 8, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Microsoft has made an offer to acquire Fast Search & Transfer of Oslo that values the company at $1.2 billion.

We always thought if Microsoft was going to snap up an Oslo-based company, browser maker Opera would be a likely candidate. But the going away gift for Bill Gates isn’t an advanced web browser, but an enterprise search firm.

Fast wasted little time in embracing Microsoft’s offer. Microsoft said in a statement the two biggest institutional investors in Fast accepted the deal, while the Fast board gave Microsoft’s overture a unanimous thumbs-up.

Fast fills a gap in Microsoft’s enterprise products, by giving them a search product that has been competing with the likes of IBM, Google, and Microsoft’s SharePoint for corporate clients.

The technology Microsoft will acquire goes beyond search. On their website, Fast lists products for data cleansing, e-commerce, and online media among its offerings.

Of particular interest given Microsoft’s aspirations in the local search ad market, Fast offers a couple of services related to multimedia and advertising. Their “Triple Play” Solution is a multimedia search and monetization platform, while the TV and Radio Solution provides a way to “reinforce local presence” for visitors.

Microsoft also picks up the surveillance and enforcement products, especially the IP Policing solution, Fast provides. They may be touting the deal as an enterprise search play, but there seems to be more to the deal than just search.