Bill Gates announced yesterday at Microsoft's annual CEO Summit, their first product targeted towards knowledge management, more precisely centered on expertise location called Knowledge Network, which will be a part of SharePoint 2007. There's a brief blurb about it here on a ZDnet page from the UK. I've already got it on good authority that there's an API developers will be able to tap into to extend the functionality of this tool (which predominately mines e-mails and contacts to help determine expertise in certain subject matter). Knowledge Network technology looks through workers' email and other data and then automatically generating working profiles of expertise. The software also takes a page from social networking sites in the way that workers get matched up with in-house experts. The software can see if the information seeker and expert have any worker friends in common who might be able to make an introduction. Workers can also choose whether they want to be open to being contacted directly.
Out of the box, I'm sure this tool will need a lot of work to truly help mine experience and expertise within a law firm, but it's good to see Microsoft enter the KM arena.