Well, this sounds cool: Microsoft just announced Search Server Express 2008, based on MOSS Search. The Release Candidate (RC) is free! And only 221 MB (32-bit)/235 MB (64-bit). Although I am sure the production recommendation is to run the 64 bit version, as time permits I could install the 32 bit version in a virtual machine and see how it runs. A colleague of mine hypothesized that this can compete directly against a Google Mini.
MSFT’s press release: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/nov07/11-06SearchServer08ExpressPR.mspx
The Enterprise Search Home Page: http://www.microsoft.com/enterprisesearch/
The Enterprise Search Blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/enterprisesearch/archive/2007/11/06/announcing-microsoft-search-server-2008-express.aspx
The Release Candidate download page: http://www.microsoft.com/enterprisesearch/serverproducts/searchserverexpress/download.aspx
I’d be interested in playing with this, but first I should get one or more MOSS TS exams (70-630, etc) out of the way…