Ever since the problem with the missing iFilters for Office 2007 documents first arose, the official response by the vendor was to install Office 2007 (or at least Word 2007) on the server. I believe we all agree that this simply isn't good practice.
First of all, why would anyone need an end-user application such as Microsoft Word on a server?
Obviously Word would never even have to be started on the server (unless the DBA would use it for documenting ;), but the question of how it would compete with SQL Server services still needs to be considered if we're planning on putting it there. Ok, at least it deserves a thought.
Then there's the question of security. Does MS Word 2007 with all of its modern data-sharing-collaborating-globally functionalities provide enough security to even be "allowed" to share the machine with SQL Server in a production environment? I'm not saying Word is IIS, I'm simply saying that the security aspect needs proper consideration. Remember all those Office-related security issues from previous versions?
Frankly, I see no reason for any end-user application (together with several server applications) to exist on the same machine with SQL Server. Another battle for resources is something any DBA should prevent. Ok, maybe we can have SSMS on the server, but that one's really more an integral part of the package than just another application. ;)
Anyway, all these questions have since become irrelevant, as Microsoft just made the iFilters available as a stand-alone download.
The files can be found here:
...and the corresponding KB article can be found here:
Now go, and add support for Microsoft Office 2007 documents to your SQL Server 2005's Full-text Search.