Microsoft privately testing a 'Twitter for business' service

Microsoft privately testing a 'Twitter for business' service

Summary: Microsoft is continuing to look into ways to make social computing services part of business users' lives with a new pilot program for something called "OfficeTalk." Microsoft mentioned OfficeTalk in a March 19 posting on the Office Labs blog, calling it a vehicle that “applies the base capabilities of microblogging to a business environment."

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Microsoft is continuing to look into ways to make social computing services part of business users' lives with a new pilot program for something called "OfficeTalk."

Microsoft mentioned OfficeTalk in a March 19 posting on the Office Labs blog, calling it a vehicle that “applies the base capabilities of microblogging to a business environment, enabling employees to post their thoughts, activities, and potentially valuable information to anyone who might be interested.”

(From that description, OfficeTalk could be more like the enterprise microblogging service Yammer than Twitter, as a few readers have noted. But there's really not enough information on the Office Labs' site to know for sure....)

Office Labs officials described OfficeTalk as a research project, with no clear or definite commercialization path. (It is one of the team's "Concept Tests," like the recently introduced Ribbon Hero training game, Canvas for OneNote add-on, and pptPlex zoomable canvas.) Officials said OfficeTalk was "one of the most popular internal concept tests to date."

Microsoft isn't offering any more details on what OfficeTalk looks like or what it will do. The Office Labs folks describe it as beeing "pretty bare bones." They are allowing interested parties to fill out a brief survey to see if they qualify to test the service.

Update (March 22): Picturepan2 has posted a screen shot of OfficeTalk, if you want to see what it looks like.

Topics: Software, Collaboration, Microsoft, Social Enterprise

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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13 comments
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  • Am I missing something?

    All the talk is about social networking in enterprise? How stooopid can it get? WHAT business wants it's employees/staff blithering away ignorant remarks or even business procedures, plans & secrets? I guess I'm just an old FUD!
    JRude
    • If contained within the business

      it might be useful.
      I find informal, 'water cooler' conversations with
      people in other departments invaluable for insight
      into what is really happening and why.
      A certain level of dysfunction is normal in formal
      channels of communication.
      mdemuth
      • Further more

        this can serve as a source of information... allowing you to gather usefull info for a current assignement... aka crowdsourcing at a enterprise level...

        However, it needs to have somekind of control to prevent leaks... or at least reduce the probability of leaks.
        Ceridan
  • RE: Microsoft privately testing a 'Twitter for business' service

    What!? 3 spams and no other posts...something is quite odd here!
    JRude
    • ...

      spammers are out in force today...
      Ceridan
  • RE: Microsoft privately testing a 'Twitter for business' service

    Good deal for Microsoft. They are out of ideas, so post yours online so they can look through them to use what they want for their next venture!
    tburzio
    • I worked at a company...

      That was doing something similar over 2 years ago. Let?s see if they are
      infringing on another company?s IP this time too. I am trying to
      remember the software packages name. You could access if from the
      field as well as st. the facility. So there is nothing new or innovative here.
      Rick_K
  • RE: Microsoft privately testing a 'Twitter for business' service

    Great... I can see it now... "Heading to the water cooler." "Fax machine reminds me of Office Space."
    scooterneal
  • Twitter = The most overrated service of all time. [NT]

    EN-TEE.
    Dealing
  • Wow really?

    Wow, Microsoft ripping off someone else's idea. Microsoft
    "innovation" at its best. LOL, what a bunch of clowns.
    satelshawn
  • RE: Microsoft privately testing a 'Twitter for business' service

    I have never known that MS has a lab which spurns out some ideas
    mirali
  • RE: Microsoft privately testing a 'Twitter for business' service

    It makes sense for a player like Microsoft to introduce
    the social element in their business offerings
    particularly for new marketing opportunities with
    improved and measureable campaign effectiveness. a recent
    acquisition elaborated here:
    http://bit.ly/azrjvy
    rhitub@...
  • RE: Microsoft privately testing a 'Twitter for business' service

    It's a good idea, very good article.
    I am very interested businesses with Twitter as it is
    very fast and young.
    I think it will grow even further in the future.

    Regards
    John
    http://www.tweetomatic.biz
    JohnTwee