Friday, May 16, 2008

100 Million is a lot of extra clicks

Microsoft is claiming great market penetration with Microsoft Sharepoint. According to CIO Magazine, and other sources, Microsoft has sold over 100 Million licenses for Sharepoint. Now Sharepoint has a lot of great features and I am often asked how it differs from Wikis, blogs and other socially enabled applications.

Microsoft Sharepoint has its roots in document management. The Wiki component is Sharepoint breaks some of the fundamental rules of the Wiki such as versioning of content. The wiki feature set is very weak.

Microsoft's approach to the Wiki is to treat the Wiki as a document. This is fundamentally different from most other wiki designs where the Wiki is the environment. Just try linking from a page in one Sharepoint Wiki document to a page in another separate wiki document.

Given Sharepoint's roots in document management the way I have seen Sharepoint implemented is around lists of documents. I have also seen the lists arranged in folders. Perpetuating this metaphor makes Sharepoint only marginally better than the Shared drives it often replaces or supplements.

This type of organization where you have lists of documents and, if you are very lucky, a description of the document leads to all of the information you need being at least an extra click away. This is the biggest difference between Sharepoint and Wikis. With a Wiki you see the content with context. In your typical implementation of Sharepoint you see a list of documents that you need to click in to in order to determine if it is what you are looking for.

So really it is not 100 Million extra clicks. Instead it is in fact The average number of sharepoint documents accessed in a given day by a user multiplied by 100 Million. Now that is a lot of extra clicks!

No comments:

Post a Comment