The power of Microsoft's branding is so great that slapping the labels 'Live' and 'Office' on a piecemeal bundle of rehashed services seems to have the whole world agog. The evidence doesn't justify the excitement. Today's beta of Office Live is a repackaging of various web presence offerings that Microsoft previously tried (and largely failed) to market under the bcentral brand for a number of years.
And to that, I add: where's the VoIP?
Seems to me the Office Live Mail feature could really use a click-to-talk button. Oh sure there is an MSN Messenger icon but what if you wanted a real in-the-ear conversation with the person that just emailed you?
Oh, sorry. That's probably another division. And not always do separate divisions of a company that is more Balkanized than you think talk to each other.
Oh, and what about the Collaboration feature? To me, Collaboration means more than email, or IM or whiteboarding. When you Collaborate, maybe you need to explain concepts, hash out differences, design cool stuff by actually using spoken consonants and vowels?
I don't know about you but when I "collaborate" I vocalize.
I vocalize the kind of consonants and vowels that are not only IM-containered but can go out to the PSTN. The conversations that can be kicked off with a "Call" icon right next to the User Name in the Live Mail and Collaboration features I am showing you in this post.
Like in this Office Live Collaboration Projects screen grab, where I point the small cursor to the line where some sort of Click to Call icon ought to go:
I ask once again: isn't that why Microsoft bought Teleo last August? And said that they were aiming for PC to PSTN telephony by the end of 2005?
What's taking so dadgummed long for MSFT to integrate a Teleo PC to PSTN in MSN Messenger?
And why is there no talk capability in Office Live outside MSN Messenger's PC to PC capability?