Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates today told executives in not so many words that information will bury their businesses if they don't get a handle on it.
To solve the information deluge problem, Microsoft stressed improved search and increased collaboration. A keystone of that vision is Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007.
In a keynote address at the software giant's 10th annual CEO Summit, Gates said that the value for companies is in finding ways to share information. But he said business doesn't have the tools to manage the information overload.
The mountains of data "are making it so people can't act on it without being overwhelmed."
One feature of SharePoint Server is the searchable Knowledge Network, which builds profiles of employees and their areas of expertise.
Microsoft also demonstrated SharePoint's Business Data Catalog and its ability to search business applications from Siebel and SAP.
And then there is Microsoft Office SharePoint Server for Search 2007, a subset of the SharePoint suite.
Aimed at mid-market and departmental-level business users, SharePoint Server for Search can find data in file shares, Web sites, Lotus Notes and Exchange Server. Users can upgrade it to the full version or extend it with third-party add-ons.
To round out Microsoft's focus on search, Gates unveiled Windows Live Search.
As part of the Vista operating system, Windows Live Search can look for data on the Web, Internet and corporate network and search results are grouped by source, according to Microsoft.