In all of the breathless coverage of a possible suite of Web-based productivity applications, a few level-headed types have pointed out that the only way to guarantee adoption is to provide apps that deliver a better experience than what is currently available on the desktop.
Unfortunately, that largely hasn't been the case to date. Google Spreadsheets is no Excel killer, for instance. Yet, Google's recent acquisition of wiki software developer JotSpot shows that the search giant realizes that the one productivity application area that practically begs for online delivery is collaboration.
Microsoft realizes it too, as evidenced by its tweaks to Exchange and SharePoint and plans to beef up collaboration functionality in the forthcoming Office 2007 platform. But pundits like Phil Windley say that the software giant will have a hard time catching rivals like Google in the race to offer improved collaborative capabilities. Why? Microsoft's software was built for an enterprise that no longer exists, Windley says.