IBM today announced today it’s bringing Web 2.0 features into corporations via its new Lotus Connections and Lotus Quickr applications. The software allows employees to find those who share similar interests, and easily share information and collaborate in a variety of ways. Why isn’t Microsoft releasing this kind of software?
Now, it’s true that Microsoft has SharePoint Server 2007, which includes some basic Web 2.0 features, such as blogs and wikis. But that’s about as far as it goes.
Lotus Connections appears to go well beyond that. It gives employees a dashboard which shows colleagues’ workplace activities, in addition to profiles, blogs, and even lists of work-related communities.
Lotus Quickr, the other IBM Web 2.0 tool, is a content-sharing application integrated into Lotus Notes, IBM’s SameTime instant-messaging software and even into Microsoft Office. It’s a peer-to-peer application allows people to create shared content repositories for co-workers.
Compare that to the collaboration tools built into Vista. Windows Meeting Space, for example, is supposed to be a collaboration tool, but it’s just about worthless. Its instant messaging features, for example, are laughably bad…and things go downhill from there.
Why doesn’t Microsoft get Web 2.0? Partially it’s a game of catch-up. It’s always had a hard time with networking technologies. Vista represents a breakthrough of sorts, because of how well it handles networking. So there may be hope.
Ultimately, I believe Microsoft will build Web 2.0 capabilities directly into the operating system. How long that will take is anyone’s guess, but I’m hoping it will be in the next version of Windows.