An unfortunate turn of events. Microsoft has some intriguing social software packaged within Knowledge Network. I'm sure that some organizations will continue to investigate KN and perhaps apply it within certain situations, but the lack of support could be a drawback, especially given the "newness" of this type of expertise and social networking capabilities and its impact on users. Some IT groups may not be comfortable with software that does not have a good track record in the industry and remains somewhat emergent in terms of what it does and how it does it. Other vendors have indeed offered expertise automation tools in the market for some time but they have had limited success. Many have gone under.
This clearly opens the door for IBM and its "Ventura" effort. I would expect IBM to expedite deeper integration with SharePoint.
We are announcing a change to the distribution and support model for KN. Our new plan is to release KN as a Technical Preview rather than as a supported product feature of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. As a Technical Preview, KN will still be available to customers as a web download at no additional cost and will include documentation and community support. However, Technical Previews are not supported or covered by standard product support services or warranties. We appreciate all the enthusiasm and interest in KN from so many of you. We’ve also heard feedback that KN should be integrated into the core Office Client and Server products rather than distributed as a separate component. Responding to this feedback, Microsoft has decided to distribute KN as a Technology Preview in this release and to review the KN feature set for inclusion in future releases of the Office system.