Today Microsoft and Lucid Imagination announced an agreement to provide search on Azure.
[Update on availability and pricing]
EE Magazine is reporting that the Microsoft Azure Marketplace is now offering cloud search from Lucid for its Azure customers. This extends the relationship between Microsoft and Lucid we wrote about last month, and brings the offer of Solr-based search to Microsoft's customers. Lucid has some details about the service on its site, with an invite to come back at 2PM Pacific Time for more details.
The product, LucidWorks Cloud for Microsoft Azure, looks and feels like the LucidWorks Enterprise product, but without any need to have local servers to host the search service. It includes the REST API; but runs without any need to access the various configuration files normally associated with Solr.
We're quite familiar with the concept of hosted search, having started SearchButton.Com in 1998. Nevertheless, this is a big move forward for Lucid Imagination and a big move for Microsoft's Azure customers.
What does this say about Microsoft's own search products? It seems pretty clear that enterprise search from Microsoft means SharePoint; and search outside of SharePoint is something other companies can provide. Do you suppose this endorsement of Lucid's Solr-based product offering is the beginning of a more open Microsoft?
What do you think?