Whether it meant to or not, Google just responded to the Microsoft/Socialtext deal

Whether it meant to or not, Google just responded to the Microsoft/Socialtext deal

Summary: Yesterday, as my colleague Dan Farber pointed out, when you merge Microsoft's Sharepoint with Socialtext namesake wiki, you get SocialPoint. Wrote Dan at the end of the post in which he interviews Socialtext CEO Ross Mayfield about the deal:In the meantime, Ross and his team of 30 employees will have to run hard to stay ahead of many competitors from the bottom and the top.

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TOPICS: Google
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Yesterday, as my colleague Dan Farber pointed out, when you merge Microsoft's Sharepoint with Socialtext namesake wiki, you get SocialPoint. Wrote Dan at the end of the post in which he interviews Socialtext CEO Ross Mayfield about the deal:

In the meantime, Ross and his team of 30 employees will have to run hard to stay ahead of many competitors from the bottom and the top.

Well, say no more Dan. One day later, thanks to an acquisition by Google, one of those competitors -- JotSpot -- just went straight to the top of Socialtext and Microsoft's lists. News.com's Martin Lamonica has the details:

Google has bought JotSpot, a 3-year-old company with a system for building collaborative Web pages called wikis.

JotSpot co-founder and CEO Joe Kraus announced the acquisition on a blog Tuesday morning, saying that being part of search giant Google will give JotSpot access to "world-class" data centers and engineers....

....Google's efforts to offer hosted applications, such as word processors and spreadsheets, mesh with JotSpot's strategy to build online productivity applications, Kraus wrote.

"We watched them acquire Writely, and launch Google Groups, Google Spreadsheets and Google Apps for Your Domain. It was pretty apparent that Google shared our vision for how groups of people can create, manage and share information online," he wrote.

JotSpot's product is a platform for building wiki-based applications. For example, the company has an online spreadsheet and calendar that multiple people can edit....

....In an interview Tuesday morning, Kraus indicated that that the JotSpot team will work to link its wiki software with Google's current hosted applications.

Ironically, "Mayfield" is the name of one of the venture outfits that funded Jotspot.

For Google to get into wiki hosting is not an unexpected move. As the existence of SocialPoint proves, wiki technology has a lot of potential when it comes to enabling organizational collaboration around information. I'm a huge proponent of wikis and how, by virtue of them and blogs, RSS could easily be the next "intranet protocol."  In fact, it should be. About the only thing that doesn't quite fit in this deal is Google Spreadsheets. Google Spreadsheets are not wiki-enabled to the extent that JotSpots spreadsheets are. The two are different offerings and so, some reconciliation of the two will be required.

Afterthought: Had Microsoft been more aggressive on the idea of Office 2.0 and acquired JotSpot first, it might not be in the position it is now where, to match Google, it may have to figure out how to acquire or bring into the Microsoft-fold something that's culturally incompatible with Microsoft's primary mode of operation. "Acquiring" open source and taking it "closed" is very difficult to do. Moving forward, my sense is that Google, Yahoo and others will force Microsoft to not only consider the acquisition of open source-oriented companies and as a result, but also to leave them as open-source oriented properties. In other words, expect Microsoft to be more of an open source company down the road.

Topic: Google

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  • Expect M$ to become MORE Open Source?

    hack-hack-hack-cough

    I'm sorry Dave, but I think you made me cough up a hair ball or choke or something!

    What product does Microsoft make that is open source? I don't mean "shared" with their "partners". Have they EVER released any product as open source even with using a GPL, or maybe some other copy-left license? Opening up the code to EU to look at does not count as open source.

    Yes I agree they have given away compiled software, lots of it in fact, but not the source. Never.

    I find it really irritating to write C source code , dump it into VS, compile it and have the listings output have "copyright MS" printed on it! I think you'd still have to use a crowbar to pry them away from the source code to their GWBasic or (shudder!) QuikBasic application. It would be easier to deliver twin baby elephants than to get MS to let go of their precious IP!
    Xwindowsjunkie
    • Alternatives

      > I find it really irritating to write C source
      > code , dump it into VS, compile it and have the
      > listings output have "copyright MS" printed on
      > it!

      Well, you have 2 options: use GCC or seek professional help.
      the_fiddler_on_the_roof