Lots of developments recently for Microsoft-watchers to get their teeth into. I’ve not picked up the individual announcements here, because lots of other people do it; but it’s time for a round up.
So the most recent announcement is Microsoft’s at-long-last deal with Yahoo! which will move Microsoft’s Bing search technology into Yahoo’s space. Subject to regulatory approval it might go live next year.
Well I haven’t seriously tried Bing, so this isn’t a technical evaluation. But for a business analysis of the potential impact of the deal (or lack of it), there’s an interesting discussion on Knowledge@Wharton. In brief, they suggest, the real target of Bing wasn’t Google but precisely to achieve the kind of deal now done with Yahoo. And that the impact on market share will be negligible despite the marketing deals. People like Google. And perhaps that the smaller deal will “invite less anti-trust scrutiny” than last year’s proposal to swallow Yahoo entire.
There’s a joint website called “Choice. Value. Innovation”, set up as if it were a fully fledged independent company with “Investor Relations” and “Press Room”. Draw your own conclusions.
What else? BOPS of course; Microsoft’s Business Online Productivity Suite. The “Standard” package capitalises on existing brands (or tweaks them to work outside the office perimeter): Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Live Meeting, and Office Communications Online.
So BOPS It doesn’t occupy the same space as Google Docs or other offerings like ThinkFree (who I visited with a study tour to Silicon Valley in 2006 and, I must admit, didn’t think they’d still be here by now). It does overlap Google Wave, which I reviewed recently. Gizmodo reports that Office 2010 Web apps will be free; Office Live, Windows Live and Azure exist. Either we can believe that Microsoft is still playing catch-up, when there’s so much technology already out there that’s integrated and works; or we can see the pattern of a lot of pieces about to come together and create something really powerful
Microsoft still owns the business IT mindset. Gartner quote a case study with a headlinecollaboration cost reduction of 20% So what do you think?
• Microsoft-Yahoo a Yawn for Google, Knowledge@Wharton, 29 Jul 2009
• Microsoft, Yahoo! Change Search Landscape, Microsoft Press Pass, 29 Jul 2009, featuring videos from both Ballmer of Microsoft and Bartz of Yahoo!
• Choice, Value. Innovation.
• Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, Microsoft
• Move to Microsoft BPOS Cuts Collaboration Costs by 20%, Gartner, 9 Jul 2009 (client access only to full document)
• Microsoft Office 2010 Web Apps Will Be Free; Testing Starts Today, Gizmodo, 13 Jul 2009
• Microsoft Windows Live
• Microsoft Office Live and Office Live Small Business Edition
• Microsoft Windows Azure