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Microsoft Sells Part Of Fast Search To Rocket Software

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Almost two years after purchasing Norwegian enterprise search firm Fast Search & Transfer for $1.23 billion, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is unloading a small part of the business. Microsoft is selling Fast’s Folio and NXT businesses to Rocket Software; the complimentary products are application suites used by businesses to publish and index reference material onto discs, network workstations, and online.

Unlikely that this portends a bigger exit from Fast’s business for Microsoft, since Microsoft integrated Fast’s high-end search technology with its SharePoint collaboration software earlier this year — and also introduced a new offering for businesses looking to improve the search options on their Web sites. Still, almost all of the noise around Microsoft’s search efforts lately has been on the consumer side, with the release of Bing.

Asked for comment, a Microsoft spokeswoman said that the company remains “fully committed to enterprise search,” adding that Folio and NXT were “non-core” to the SharePoint business.

Financial terms of the deal were not announced, although Fast had purchased the businesses in 2004 in a $15 million deal. It’s the latest of several businesses that Microsoft has sold this year. Others include interactive ad agency Razorfish and lead-gen firm Franchise Gator.

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