One of the best things I heard in a while is the announcement of Search Server 2008, specifically the free Express version which is also shipping as part of Microsoft’s Enterprise Search offerings.
I think the fear of Google’s enterprise offerings has forced this move from Microsoft, but its the benefits this brings to Sharepoint solutions, specifically WSS coupled with Search Server Express that will please alot of people.
Having worked with SharePoint solutions for many years now, a number of my clients have started with the low cost investment of WSS to familarise themselves with the SharePoint platform. Over time the features and benefits of upgrading to the MOSS platform can usually be realized with the explosion of content that happens with WSS and its collaboration features like workspaces and document management. But it’s with starting at WSS that the lack of search support (only searching on the current site) first hurts the WSS based solution.
This usually leads to MOSS or 3rd parties to fill the void, but now Search Server Express is a great alternative as it will do what you want most - search across multiple sharepoint sites.
Will it detract from a MOSS upgrade? Yeah to some degree, as search for me is one of its key aspects, although with MOSS Enterprise your search experience is far greater thanks to the Business Data Catalogue integrating your LOB systems, something Search Server Express won’t do easily.