Two low cost enterprise search products, Search Server 2008 and Search Server 2008 Express, are being released by the Redmond giant to enter the fray of enterprise search solutions.

An excerpt from Techworld:

The Express edition – available Tuesday in release candidate form – is a free download. It contains the same features as the commercial product but is restricted to a single installation. Both products will be generally available in the first half of 2008, Microsoft said.
The commercial version will be priced to sell into a market Microsoft believes is still widely untapped. “We hope it will help enterprise search move from kind of a sleepy town to more of a mainstream market,” said Jared Spataro, group product manager for enterprise search at Microsoft.

Visit Microsoft’s Web site to download the release candidate for Search Server Express. The latest products are derived from the SharePoint Server.

Microsoft is gearing up to take enterprise search mainstream, but will a free product and a low cost (unannounced) version do the trick to beat the likes of Google, IBM, and the rest?

More information:

Microsoft giving away business search tools (

Microsoft enters Enterprise Search market (InformationWeek)

Microsoft offers free enterprise search product (eWeek)

Microsoft moves in on free enterprise search (VNUnet)