Are Wikimedia going to build a search engine?

Tech news sites have been brimming with speculation that Wikimedia (publishers of Wikipedia) are planning to build a search engine.

Apparently, a leaked memo has caused a stir, especially amongst the many volunteers who contribute to the success of Wikipedia.

At the same time, Executive Director Lila Tretikov has resigned, fuelling speculation even further.

But how much of a big deal would it be, if Wikimedia did build a new search engine?

Wikipedia already provides a useful in-site search facility, allowing access to many millions of web pages / documents.

Would it not make sense for Wikimedia to offer a search engine style resource OR at least improve the existing Wikipedia site to make in-site search more prominent?

For us, it’s a ‘storm in a teacup’ scenario.

At some point in the future, Google (especially strong in the UK, Europe and USA) will come up against stiffer competition (than Bing, Yahoo etc)

If Wikimedia don’t do it, someone else will.