We've heard cries that the enterprise search market is dead, that thefight is over and that it is now a two-horse race between Microsoft and Google. There may be some truth in this, but it's certainly not the whole story. The enterprise search market continues to move forward, albeit with a few major challenges. The downside is that these challenges can make what seems like a simple search product selection and implementation project for the enterprise more complex and costly than expected.

As of mid-2011, the search market is dominated by three big names, Google, Microsoft and Apache Lucene. The Google appliance continues to sell well at the departmental level within organizations. Microsoft, via its dominance with Office and SharePoint, has become the de facto search application for many back-office needs. And Lucene has become ubiquitous as an embedded search engine in many products and applications. With these three very different dominant search engines in the market, it can be hard to make a mark as an independent search vendor today.

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