Microsoft Offers $1.2 Billion For Norwegian Search Company

They may not have Google's market share but Microsoft does not seem to be stopping its acquisition of more properties in the search space, having offered $1.2 billion for Norwegian company, Fast Search and Transfer, according to the New York Times.

The Olso-based company "is a specialist in search technology used inside companies and government agencies to cull for information in documents, databases and software applications. Its software helps teams of workers quickly search the corporate storehouse of information for answers about procurement, marketing, manufacturing and product design," the NYTimes.com reported.

NYT reporter Steve Lohr examines the relationship of this acquisition with Google's push into the office services business with the launch of more products at Google Docs.

"Microsoft has already offered enterprise search from SharePoint, a product in the Office family designed for groups of workers to collaborate on projects. And Microsoft already has a partnership with Fast, for providing enterprise search.

But by purchasing Fast, Microsoft can more fully integrate the Norwegian company's technology into its Office technology. Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft's business division, which includes Office, pointed to advantage of having “a single vendor with solutions that span the full range of customer needs," Lohr wrote.

The Microsoft move is seen as one aimed at adding to their Office products and services, NYT reports, The Microsoft bid "represents a 40 percent premium over the closing price of the Norwegian company's shares on Tuesday," they added.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.