I am from a different school of thought when it comes to Microsoft and refuse to throw daggers at them. They are more innovative than Sun, BEA and Oracle combined...
One blogger commented on Microsoft SharePoint and Will it live up to the hype?
that needs to be dissected.
The latest version even includes workflow features that were only available previously in much more complex and expensive products like Documentum. And because cheap storage has made the tricky aspects of content management unnecessary (offline storage management can just be brushed off by keeping all data online and metadata tagging can just be replaced altogether by a good full-text search engine), Sharepoint is able to deliver a very good entry solution for even the most sophisticated users.
Microsoft understands that Content Management and Workflow are components that not only need to appear unified as part of a user, they also figured out that they should be under one SKU and not distinct products.
Documentation and support is still extremely poor for a such an ambitious product. To the extent that the latest SDK release has been called a disgrace by the development community.
Have you ever looked at the documentation for any other product in this domain? You will find that Microsoft's documentation relative
to other products is actually quite good. I bet you can find easily and for free documentation for any Microsoft product regardless if you have purchased support from them. Are you willing to say the same thing for Oracle, Documentum, FileNet and others?
Microsoft is not really trying to sell Sharepoint outside of the enterprise. Despite timid agreements with some ISPs, there is still little traction in the consumer space.
While I understand the potential value proposition this could bring to consumer markets, I am glad that Microsoft focuses on those who are willing to pay for software which is the enterprise marketplace.
Microsoft needs to build a free hosted version of Sharepoint that would allow everyone to get started immediately without the need for a dedicated infrastructure or a third party offering.
Are you saying that Microsoft needs a strategy on how to lose money and reduce profits to make consumers happy who will inefficiently waste storage? Maybe I got it twisted and thought that public companies should be in the business to make money?
The licensing model for the paying version, MOS2007, is just a joke. It requires you to buy -- and therefore maintain -- licenses (CALs) for each user accessing the site. You can buy a web license with unlimited user access but that's only allowed for non-employees!
I really hate when folks encourage fiscal irresponsibility. Understand that most enterprises tend to negotiate enterprise agreements that abstract much of this compliant but if I were to analyze it for a minute, you need to understand what to compare it to. Let's focus on the Microsoft value proposition. If you were a CIO in a large enterprise and Microsoft, Sun, CA and Oracle all walked in the door offering you the ability to use any
software they offer by simply agreeing to pay $100 per employee, which vendor offers the best value proposition?