SharePoint – Microsoft’s Sleeper Cell

The Wall Street Journal has a long article today titled Microsoft Embeds Sleeper in Business SoftwareIt positions SharePoint clearly in the collaboration battle that is emerging with Oracle, Adobe, IBM, EMC, Cisco, and Google and then goes on to mention “lesser-known players” such as Zimbra, Alfresco, Plone, and Socialtext.

According to the article Microsoft has sold 85 million licenses of SharePoint across 17,000 companies.  Say that again slowly: 85 million licenses across 17,000 companies.  I don’t know how many are “free” (according to the WSJ Microsoft has to be careful about giving SharePoint away due to their antitrust settlement) and while I used to tease my friends at Microsoft about simply giving away SharePoint and not caring who used it, this clearly was an effective strategy.

17,000 companies.  I wrote about my positive experience with SharePoint recently.  I now use it every day as part of my regularly work activity and am very pleased.  I’m expecting the hosted version of SharePoint to be announced anyday (maybe at Mix) which will be a logical stab by Microsoft back at Google’s collaboration activity.

  • SharePoint has some great features, but its discussion forums are very user-unfriendly.

    When SharePoint offers integrated Wiki, blog, calendar, individual and departmental bios, better forums, and a Craigslist-like request desk to ask for help from others, SharePoint will be a killer business app. When/if it becomes a user-friendly integrated social media app, Microsoft will have its business OS for the web.

  • Some Guy


  • We need to remember that Ray Ozzie is the wizard behind the curtain in Microsoft for Sharepoint.
    Ray has been doing collaborative software for only 3 or decades or so. He created DECnotes when he was at DEC. Notes was in the DNA of every DECcie (120,000 nodes worldwide, about 100,000 forums worldwide). He then created LotusNotes and then Groove Networks. Ray knows collaboration.

    No wonder Sharepoint is doing well inside Microsoft first, given Ray’s profile currently and outside with users!

  • Cliff Reeves

    Sharepoint has hosted offerings and includes wikis and blogs.

    See this blog entry:

  • Becky Smith

    I thought Jeff Raikes was behind SharePoint’s uptake.

  • Mark

    @Brett – SharePoint already is a killer business app according to 17000 companies. SharePoint is certainly does not have the feature depth of Documentum, Alfresco, etc but they are extremely successful all the same.

  • And remember that they just added a piece of killer functionality to SharePoint: Excel Services.

    The market is going to take a while to grok this product–it’s too different from Excel for people to understand what it does. But when you put it in the context of “adding math and spreadsheet capability to SharePoint,” many eyes light up.