According to a representative of Ballmer’s boys, the announcement actually means that Microsoft will be “investing in interoperability between Windows and other operating systems, reaffirming our commitment to 10 years of support for our non-Windows products, and taking concrete steps to help customers plan for the future.
Quite how the word “phasing out” is the same as “commitment” we are not certain.
Enterprise search is dominated by Microsoft and Autonomy, but there have been some gains in the market from the newer Apache Lucene project.
But Microsoft controls the data through the Windows file system, along with a vast array of applications and server platforms.
Dropping Linux and Unix support for FAST, makes sense from a development perspective however it means that if an outfit wants FAST they have to use Windows too. Many companies want a mixed environment and the use of Linux servers is growing.
Also if businesses start, like Microsoft hopes, to move to cloud based services, then making FAST Redmond-centric is just plain dumb.