Microsoft and Lookout

Microsoft bought the company that makes a product called Lookout, a product that lets you search your Outlook database for emails, notes, etc. 


Joel asks “Could Microsoft have possibly bought Lookout just to shut them down?”  I think the answer is “probably”. 


Lookout is basically an Outlook hack that indexes stuff in Outlook's database and lets you do very fast searches of it. Microsoft doesn't need a third party company to develop this sort of technology - they could leverage other database and search technology they already have and add that functionality themselves in no time.


But Microsoft's strategy for this in the future is WinFS.  Everything will be in WinFS and you'll use that to search.  It wouldn't be very good if WinFS finally showed up and we didn't need it anymore...


The funny part is how Lookout's open letter talks about how they're going to be working with MSN.