Microsoft sees a big role for Web 2.0 technologies -- mashups, wikis, blogs, RSS sites, My Sites, and unified communications -- in the business world and the company is delivering them under the broad umbrella of its SharePoint structure, according to a presentation at Enterprise 2.0.
"A lot of these features have been in the enterprise for years," said Derek Burney, manager, SharePoint Platform & Tools. "For instance, My Site has been around for five years." The personal biography site looks suspiciously similar to a rudimentary MySpace.com posting.
Microsoft is unveiling a series of upgrades and additions to SharePoint that it believes will appeal to business users as well as to individual consumers.
"We've learned that SharePoint has to be compelling to IT people -- they want to save money -- and it must deliver instant productivity to individuals," he added in an interview. Microsoft has created a series of add-ons and plug-ins designed to appeal to individual users and to businesses seeking to develop closer relationships with customers, partners, and suppliers.
Burney said SharePoint is crossing generations by addressing the "20-somethings", who are bringing new features, as well as older IT personnel, who are also bringing technology to SharePoint. Taking note of the importance of traditional computing approaches, Burney said 80% of corporate information is stored on disk drives and many of those drives are operated by retiring baby boomers; it's important to be able to access that stored data.