Well, come on. Both Yahoo and Google announced small purchases in the last week, do you think Microsoft could resist? Late today they announced that they've bought Lookout Software to boost their search efforts. Lookout, which appears to just be two guys, has created a free plugin that makes searching through Outlook really fast apparently. With all the talk about Gmail search speed and clients like Bloomba with their search capabilities, it looks like they're beefing up that side of the business. As you might imagine this work could also be useful for a desktop search application to compete with the desktop search company AskJeeves bought last month or new entrants like the suddenly popular Blinkx (which is now being accused of doing some bad things). The two guys involved with Lookout are Silicon Valley vets. While the about page doesn't give much of a bio, I'm assuming (risky, I know) the Eric Hahn involved is the same Eric Hahn who was once CTO at Netscape. The other guy at Lookout is going to start working on MSN's search efforts. Maybe they did this so he can replace the guy who stole AltaVista's code.