Microsoft announced yesterday that Tafiti, the experimental Silverlight front-end for Live Search, has been released under the Microsoft Shared Source Permissive License *it's like BSD*. Here is the announcement.
Internally this caused a lot of buzz on our enterprise search distribution list. Angus Logan, Technical Product Manager for the Windows Live platform has been tinkering away in Visual Studio trying to replace the Live API calls with the MOSS API so Tafiti can be used as a front-end for our enterprise search products.
The outcome of his efforts as well as those of the community will prove interesting because it is my opinion that once rich media technology like Silverlight becomes richly tied into enterprise platforms, the functionality and value of the tools will be an order magnitude greater. In addition to this, a new wave of tool programmers will enter the ecosystem, in fact, "programmer" will probably be replaced with "designer" as the amount of time spent in Visual Studio, as opposed to Microsoft Expression, will be minimal.
The key take away from this post for some of you non-technical readers is that the presentation of content is just as important as the the ability to search, retrieve, and consume content. Up until recently, the Internet has been largely a text-oriented system. Web technologies like YouTube, Bittorrent, P2P, Flickr, Live, Picasa, and Tafiti are changing the rules of the games. It is inevitable that these technologies will tie into the enterprise.
If you want to understand some of the concepts around Tafiti, read this great article from LiveSide.net
Other Microsoft Open Source Technologies
.NET 3.5 Framework (MS-RL)
SharePoint Accessibility Toolkit
Windows Kernel (Academic)
Windows CE 6 (Shared Source Multiple)