Microsoft vs. IBM

The first tutorial this morning at The Enterprise 2.0 show here in Boston was Social Computing Platforms: IBM and Microsoft. It was a duel of demos, not as open or back-and-forth a discussion as I’d hoped. But the general concession during the event and in the hallways afterwards was that Microsoft was showed up by IBM…thoroughly.

The Lotus demo was first. Lotus Connections is just coming out in version 2.0 and has a fairly complete set of capabilities for social networking, bookmarking, tagging, communities and blogging. The UI is clean and modern and the presenter, Suzanne Minnassian, did a great job sticking with her user scenario and showing how Connections can be used.

Then there was SharePoint. Microsoft SharePoint is of course lots of things – it’s a basic ECM product, it’s a portal and it has some nascent social computing features. But this demo was only to focus on those features, and they’re really not competition for Lotus Connections at this point. And just how nascent these features are was clearly evident this morning, in a demo that also included partner technologies and open source code. It was too technical and showed how difficult SharePoint can be to configure.

To be fair, comparing SharePoint and Connections is really not comparing apples to apples. SharePoint hasn’t reached the level of market penetration it has because of its social software features. Microsoft positions SharePoint as a platform and that partner technologies work better to customize it for specific verticals. There’s some truth to this, but the story will no doubt change as SharePoint gets more social in future releases.

I met with a Rob Curry, a product manager for SharePoint, this afternoon. He wouldn’t comment on specifics in the SharePoint road map but we can be pretty sure that the next version, expected as part of Office 14 late in 2009, will go much further down the social softwar path. In the meantime, SharePoint is still a juggernaut. Can IBM make some hay with its social software lead to stop that?

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#1 Enterprise 2.0: the good and the bad — Too much information on 06.12.08 at 2:52 pm

[…] Microsoft vs. IBM demo-duel on Monday and the buzz that carried through the week about it (people were still asking me today what I thought). General consensus? IBM knocked it out of the park but it probably doesn’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things. […]

#2 John Turnbow on 06.17.08 at 8:06 am

Why is everyone so ready to give Microsoft a pass!!! MS$ Always gets a pass, they are no longer a small startup as they were 20 years ago, so stop giving MS a pass, they are a multibillion conglomorate, MS should deliver that type of app.

Doesn’t matter too much in the grand scheme of things, Why – because just like the OS MS$$ may someday get it right. IBM did a knockout punch in several rounds. MS$ has a better marketing machine is all. People that choose MS instead of IBM or some other technology just have MS stamped on their forehead.

#3 IBM ups investment in social software — Too much information on 09.17.08 at 1:25 pm

[…] Microsoft SharePoint, but so far IBM’s research investments in this area have given it some competitive advantage. Tags: IBM, Irene […]

#4 What will NOT be in the next version of SharePoint — Too much information on 03.16.09 at 11:03 am

[…] tool at all (or what, in fact, that even means, if anything). But anyone who saw Lawrence Liu pitch SharePoint versus IBM Lotus Connections to a packed room at Enterprise 2.0 last year, would certainly assume Microsoft has ambitions in […]

#5 Secret Santa Surprise: Land of (not-so) Misfit e20 Toys on 12.21.09 at 4:23 pm

[…] would like to change that.  Considering word on the steet is that the SharePoint team calls the SharePoint v. Connections bake-off Mike Gotta held in 2008, “The Boston Massacre,” Connections has lost a little momentum over the […]

#6 Karthik Prabhu on 02.17.10 at 8:18 pm

Always enjoyed stability of the IBM hardware but when it comes to the 3rd Generation Softwares the company sucks. None of their products could ever be compared with that of Microsoft or any other. If its famous for something, which IBM is then that is BUGS !!

#7 Todd Hoffman on 07.21.11 at 12:31 am

3 years later… IBM has only extended its Social lead over Microsoft. Connections is taking many of the most popular Web 2.0 Social Services available in public social tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube and adding some new innovations of their own to deliver real business value and transform the way companies are collaborating internally and externally and getting customers out of their email inbox, while Microsoft continues to try to turn Sharepoint into a Swiss Army knife of document management, collaboration, portal and more and providing yet another way to share multiple versions of Office documents all across companies’ networks. Microsoft Sharepoint 2010 has added some features that appear to be social or Web 2.0 but when you dig into them, such as tagging, commenting and My sites, they don’t deliver the same kind of functionality companies need to improve agility and quickly find valued information across the enterprise.

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#9 lily gossip on 04.10.12 at 1:47 am

Very nice introduce of the Microsoft and IBM.I Prefer Microsoft more

#10 Yes, IBM and Microsoft Do “Get” Enterprise 2.0 - Armchair Theorist on 05.26.12 at 1:57 pm

[…] 451 Group: “Microsoft was showed up by IBM…thoroughly” […]