Feeds

Vista and Office 2007 spin tales from the Underground

Vision versus practicality

High performance access to file storage

So what do we think at Freeform Dynamics?

Well, the important thing is not to generalise too much. Questions about whether Vista will be a success or not are largely irrelevant. Vista will enter the market by default through the OEM route which will take it into the consumer and small business segments relatively rapidly, both of which tend to just accept the operating system that is pre-installed on new machines. This in turn creates a market for third party developers to go at and perhaps a stimulus for some larger enterprises (travel firms, retailers, media companies, etc) to start exploiting the embedded service capability of Vista.

Based on past experience, common sense, and ongoing feedback from mainstream corporate IT departments though, we anticipate the entry of Vista into the large enterprise segment to be much more measured and controlled. It will happen, but relatively slowly. It took about four years for Windows XP to become genuinely pervasive in this segment, and at this moment in time we can see nothing to indicate that large scale Vista adoption will be significantly quicker unless Microsoft pulls some unexpected rabbits out of the hat.

But what about Office 2007?

Again, we need to beware of generalising too much. The full name for the new release is "The Microsoft Office System 2007", and there is one component in there, SharePoint 2007, that can easily confuse discussions about levels and rates of adoption. This is because SharePoint essentially fulfils two functions. Firstly it is a back end to what most people would traditionally think of as "Microsoft Office", i.e. the suite of desktop tools (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and so on). In this respect, it acts as a hub for collaboration, document storage/sharing, search and a range of other functions. However, SharePoint can also be used independently of the Office desktop components as a very respectable and capable portal environment for serving up either native .Net or composite applications to users through a browser.

SharePoint adoption within the business sector as a portal solution through the previous release is already significant, and indications are that the new SharePoint 2007 is a bit of a hit with early adopters that have migrated or otherwise taken it on board. And this is where things can get muddled. When Microsoft recently invited us as analysts to come and meet a range of organisations that had already deployed Office System 2007, it turned out they were all using SharePoint 2007, but none had yet adopted the new versions of the desktop applications.

Our analysis at this stage is that we expect SharePoint 2007 to gain traction rapidly in the market. Our research has shown consistently that there is a strong demand for portal solutions that enable composite application development and the creation of rich user interfaces that can be delivered through a browser. SharePoint delivers against this very well and we have already seen a tendency for it to be the default choice in many organisations, both because it is Microsoft, and therefore viewed as "safe" (you may disagree with this sentiment but many think this way), and because Microsoft was quite smart with its strategy of bundling basic SharePoint service capability with Windows Server 2007, which got many people "hooked" before they realised what was happening.

However, the jury is still out in our minds on the Office 2007 desktop components. At the moment, we are picking up little demand through our research, but the traditional Office applications do represent the centre of most professional users' desktops, particularly Outlook, so the notion of using this as an application delivery platform could possibly catch on as the market gets educated on the potential.

From the drill down sessions we sat in at the developer conference, Microsoft has done a great deal to enhance the way custom or party applications running in the "Office shell" can interact with the native Outlook, Excel, Word, etc. The updated APIs and development tools provide for much tighter integration and control, both at a user interface and data manipulation level, and the runtime execution side has been improved too, with new mechanisms in place to prevent applications interfering and conflicting with each other.

The bottom line though, is that IT departments generally remain sceptical, and while all of the stuff we saw at the conference really was quite impressive, it's the practicalities of transitioning to the vision that really matter. So if Microsoft does have any rabbits in that hat, now would be a good time to pull them out.

Freeform Dynamics Home

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.