When Microsoft announced it was buying Fast Search & Transfer for $1.2 billion on Tuesday, I asked in a blog post how the deal might affect Fast’s mobile search business. I got a partial answer today.
Microsoft clearly is buying Fast for its enterprise search service, but what about mobile? No executive had mentioned it in the press release.
Ayear ago Fast announced a partnership with Bellevue-based InfoSpace. Together, the two companies intended to develop a mobile search service to sell to wireless carriers. Then, in October, InfoSpace sold its mobile business to Motricity.
I wondered if the partnership with Fast transferred to Motricity and, if it did, what would happen to the mobile side of the business? Microsoft already has mobile search in its Windows Live stable. Would it continue to develop Fast’s work?
Motricity responded this morning with a statement from Motricity’s vice president of new product strategy & marketing, Brendan Benzing (formerly of InfoSpace). He said:
“We’ve been doing business with Fast and Microsoft for a long time and have every intention of continuing our relationships. In fact, our executive management team has our quarterly meeting this month and we look forward to learning more about their post acquisition plans.
While we don’t know how Microsoft’s plans their utilization of the software, we’ve experienced that the Fast platform is extremely flexible and robust and can be applied in many ways. These characteristics, which made Fast an excellent technology partner for us, enable Fast to be a very good addition to Microsoft’s technology suite.”