I might as well have titled this post Radar Delay – first it was due last Friday, as part of series of reviews leading up to the Under the Radar: Office 2.0 event, but then fellow Enterprise Irregular Rod Boothby posted an “extra” article the same day, so I decided to wait till Tuesday. Yes that was yesterday, the day when Comcast, my ISP ironically responded to my push for On-Demand with a service outage.
But first things first: Web-based products received a surprise promotion from an unexpected source: Microsoft. As Phil Wainewright says on ZDNet:
“It’s astonishing that in the midst of a serious challenge from a new generation of Web-native office suites, Microsoft should give its rivals a helping hand by handicapping its own product so badly that it performs worse than an online product on a slow dial-up line.”
He is referring to the Outlook 2007 meltdown several users experienced:
“You’d think I had just sprayed the inside of my poor mega-laptop with saltwater to induce non-stop fritzing. I’ve learned to meditate while Outlook ruminates over ten incoming POP messages of 69K. Perhaps it takes a few seconds over each incoming message or RSS feed to contribute to solving a Grand Challenge. Or it and Desktop Search have to play 333 iterations of rock-paper-scissors everytime a change has to be written“
You can hardly accuse the above user with anti-Microsoft bias, since he is none other than Mini-Microsoft, who is obsessed with fixing Microsoft, the company. The Guardian, Dennis Howlett, Jason Busch, Tim Anderson, Chris Pirillo, Dan Farber, Phil Wainewright had similar experiences. Phil asks:
“But is it an even better fix to abandon Outlook and Exchange altogether and switch to an on-demand alternative?
My answer is a loud YES, and I’m making my point in Desktop Software: A Failed Model. Of course glitches occur in the On-Demand world, too, as we just witnessed Google Apps collapse soon after the announcement. We’re not quite there yet, but I share Rod Boothby’s view that we have passed a tipping point: while 2 years ago the ideal mix would have been desktop computing with additional online access, now I feel as a user I am better off mostly working online, with occasional offline access.
A somewhat doubtful friend, who happens to be the CEO of a cool company making web-based products sent this question:
“Do you really think people will use Word processors (in any significant number) through their web browser? “
Yes, I really do think, but why believe me? Listen to a US Government Agency instead: FAA May Ditch Microsoft’s Windows Vista And Office For Google And Linux Combo.
Some of the Under the Radar “Graduate Circle” sponsors posted significant news recently:
- Atlassian announced a WebDav plugin which allows users to seamlessly work with both MS Office documents and the Confluence, their market leading enterprise wiki. They also released a hosted version of Confluence – this is something I’ve been waiting for impatiently. This was followed by the announcement of Crowd, their single sign-on authentication software.
- Zoho announced integrating Zoho Sheet to Omnidrive, updates to Zoho Projects and overall performance improvements. Web Host Industry Review reported that Zoho doubled customer count in 5 months, going from 100K to 200K.
- EchoSign, an innovative solution provider that can proudly wear the SES badge, if we ever get tired of SaaS, has just announced their integration with Zoho Writer .
- FreshBooks anounced integration to BaseCamp for easy invoicing. This “Graduate Circle” sponsor could also wear the SES label:-) It’s really promising to see more and more integration within the Office 2.0 ecosystem.
Talk about user base, Nielsen/NetRatings issued a press release claiming that Google Docs and Spreadsheets dominate web-based productivity tools since October, with a market share of 92 percent of unique visitors. Ismael Ghalimi did some research and proved them wrong concluding that Google’s market share may be closer to 50%. His take:
“It is actually quite amazing that companies like ThinkFree and Zoho, with their ridiculously small marketing budgets, can play in the same league as mighty Google.”
Approver | Blogtronix | Brainkeeper | Cogenz | ConceptShare | ConnectBeam | Diigo | EditGrid | Firestoker | InvisibleCRM | Koral | Longjump | Mashery | My Payment Network | Proto Software | Scrybe | Sitekreator | Slideaware | Smartsheet | Spresent | Stikkit | System One | Terapad | Teqlo | TimeSearch Inc. (Calgoo) | Tungle | Vyew | WorkLight | Wrike | Wufoo | Xcellery
Hope to see you there!
Update (3/09): Passing the baton to Stowe Boyd, here’s his Relay post.