Skip to main content

Microsoft OSC stomping Google Buzz!: Round 1

Google tends to have an image of being the better design and engineering company than Microsoft, well think again. I just tried the Microsoft Outlook's Social Connector and I think it beats Google Buzz hands-down. Email as the from of communication is recognized as losing its central role with the social networking sits and their integration to our daily lives. So, we see Google/Microsoft camps vying with the ideas like google wave, buzz and now microsoft's outlook connector all eyeing to bridge the gap by allowing their end users to upload and download info from anywhere.  The Outlook Social Connector works with Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010. Google Buzz has received a very underwhelming response, has been confusing in terms of following and unfollowing (Google's lame attempt in trying to catch the twitter idea in email), and privacy concerns which spawned a lawsuit against Google. A mis-step from a company known for its premier engineering.

Contrastingly the Outlook social connector is attempting to turn e-mail as the central hub of communications -  integrating social networking sites and branch notes to push and pull information. Though the beta works only with LinkedIn for the moment, facebook, mySpace and Twitter will follow suit. Though currently it lacks all the feature sets of Xobin add-in for Outlook, I doubt Microsoft will lag behind in turning the heat of the battle.
Is it perfect? Far from it. Right now, communication is one-way, so that you can't update your LinkedIn status from inside Outlook. And the Outlook Social Connector lacks other nifty features that Xobni Outlook add-in has. One of the best feature seems to be  Microsoft's approach to bring all office based softwares integrated centrally in an organization's so solution delivery can be customized easily (scaled up or down) seems to be solid working strategy that business's will adopt. For example the OSC 2010 will conect by default to Sharepoint 2010 and for that matter all MS-Office suites and products and even the live versions of the same.

Check out the following link for more information on Michael Affronti's post @ Microsoft. A solid foundational step from Microsoft in the social networking realm will give Google a run for their money or at least drive their stock down by ten cents.


Sam Kurien


Popular posts from this blog

IT as a Innovation Partner in Business

Usually in Business organizations and especially in organizations where R&D is a separate department itself a tension persists on keeping the IT department away from any decision when it comes to innovation or process improvement. In short the IT department is generally seen as less of a help and more of a hindrance to innovation efforts. One of the main reasons is traditionally information systems are designed to impose structure on process, achieve pre-defined goals, produce metrics and minimize need for human interaction (in some case over maximize human interaction leading to nothing but "meetings").

While Innovation activities are highly unstructured and emergent, IT cannot be ignored or kept in isolation because IT can help in visualization tools, data mining efforts, uncover hidden relationships between data and create tools of knowledge management/information repository that so desperately is needed cross functionally but especially by the innovators within a org…

Analysis of SAP’s Platform Strategy

The software industry has been through high and lows up with the constant advent of new technological innovations and rapid changes in the global economic landscapes. SAP is the leading enterprise application software giant started by Hasso Plattner. The rise of Enterprise application industries started in early eighty’s with organizations needing one single software program that was capable of serving the multiple needs and functions of various departments. One single enterprise-wide application software means integrating applications that fused together for the smooth exchange and extraction of information. For example when customer services sold a product and got stock updated in the inventory by the warehouse people and the same data could be pulled by the Finance department. Enterprise Application software’s were designed exactly to do the latter mentioned processes seamlessly. SAP started by break away engineer’s Plattner and group build the company on strong engineering fort…

How Dashboards can mislead

Read an interesting article from John Shapiro professor at Northwestern Kellog on how dashboards can mislead executives and I cannot agree more. To be honest, I love visualization of data and have pushed my data architects and report writers to give me snapshots of various measures but how often the rich data didn't mean anything as it did not align with organizational goals. Even more, what information is important to me is not necessarily relevant to other executives in the organization.  Data analytics visualized on dashboards typically describe existing measures on past phenomena, some better ones predict future events and past data and the best one prescribe a course of corrective or strategic actions.

Shapiro talks about three types of traps executives can fall for:

1. The Context Trap:  We equate empirical data to the objective. I have blatantly used the cliche "numbers don't lie." But this belief can be dangerous because we can track wrong measures or metrics…