Tag Archives: SharePoint

Office Live is dead, mostly.

Microsoft tries a slightly different approach to keeping MS Office, their cash cow, healthy.

drawing: Microsoft

In 2007, Microsoft offered a fantastic deal: sign up for Office Live Small Business, register a domain name with them, host your modest website with them, create a blog on their platform, and share Office documents with your colleagues — all for little or nothing. I’ve been hosting my website and email there since 2007. They offered enhancements, including a storefront, for modest monthly fees. The collaboration portion was supposed to sell more copies of Microsoft Office.

I suspect that many Office Live users picked and chose: I used the website and email mailbox hosting services, but used OpenOfffice (cost $0) rather than Microsoft Office (cost $479).

For a couple of years it looked like Microsoft poured major effort into Office Live, but it suffered from lack of focus. About 2009, they began pulling the plug on it: they discontinued the storefront and blogging platform (“Microsoft Spaces”). Then development stopped. In 2010 they announced that they intended to kill Office Live and transition its users to a new product, dubbed Office 365.

I lost track of how many delays followed that announcement. During this time I looked at the transition procedure. I expected to see a simple procedure, but instead found a nightmare of confusing and incorrect documentation. It showed the usual lack of focus, as though people who never worked together or even spoke the same language had thrown together the mess that they called “The Transition Guide”.

I was sure that before the drop-dead deadline of April 30, Microsoft would produce a wizard that would ease the transition. I was wrong. They didn’t. In April I rolled up my sleeves and began transitioning my Office Live data to Office 365, and did the same for about a half-dozen clients.

Office 365 seems to be based upon the Software as a Service (“SAS”) model: you rent Microsoft Office from Microsoft for a monthly fee of $6.00 per user. I’ll continue to use Open Office instead.

I just heard that Microsoft has kept the email portion of Office Live, hosted by Hotmail, alive for one more month. I just tested mine. It is indeed alive.

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695
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Google stops its Wave product

Screenshot: Carla Arena

Google flattens Google Wave.

Last year at this time, I wrote about Google Wave, which was gaining strength as the workgroup collaboration software of the future. Now Google has announced that it’s killing Wave.

Maybe, to coin a phrase, what we have here is a failure to communicate. Wave was developed in Australia and its exact definition and market position weren’t crystal clear to this North American resident. It seemed to incorporate features of email, instant messaging, social networking, Microsoft Exchange, Sharepoint, and Lotus Notes. Apparently the response was underwhelming, especially in view of the explosive growth of Facebook and Twitter, so Google pulled Wave’s plug before spending more on a product that wasn’t a clear winner. Its Lotus Notes / Microsoft Sharepoint features made it attractive to businesses, but it was mis-perceived as a Facebook / Twitter also-ran, which is a shame. Wave’s demise may remind Google and other organizations to keep their developers in close touch with potential end-users. Otherwise, they could end up designing something like The Homer.

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695