During the period of evaluations and proof of concepts, I attended a few seminars and a couple of meetings with Microsoft who were embarking on repackaging their legacy index server as a search engine delivered with Sharepoint.
I documented my findings from these meetings along with other comparisons and conclusions from the products we looked at, unfortunately they are located on the internal wiki and cannot be referenced here. In any case,my findings were in summary, that Microsoft were making a poor and reactive attempt to compete with Google in the Enterprise. Their only hope would be to either go back to the drawing board, in which case they would be late to the market if they were to bring anything innovative to market or acquire a established Enterprise product.
That was around early 2005 and low and behold, here we are in early 2008!
Personally,I think this is a good move. Not sure about the timing commercially, but financially, yes! Let see what Microsoft decide to do with it.