In this article the author points out that the next Software war between Microsoft and IBM might be about ‘Embedded realtime communication and presence’. Well, I think the author is right!
In my vision there’s no doubt that realtime communication and presence are going to explode in the next years. Every knowledge worker will be able to control all his information and communication flows trough one interface, and i’m pretty sure that alerts and message routing will play a big role in this.
In this article the author writes about (Office) Excel Server 2006. Well, I think that this product will come next year, but I don’t think it will get a big role in communication or presence. I think this product will probably do two basic things. First, is to realise more functionality towards web based spreadsheets, like in Sharepoint Services but with more features like compley formulas. And Second, it will probably will work in combination with SQL Server 2005 to function as a better way to store spreadsheets. This way it will be possible to work on the same spreadsheet with multiple users and it will realises new and better opportunities to consolidate Excel spreadsheets.
So, I think the author is a bit wrong about the Excel Server. Ok, But then, what Microsoft products will play a role in this comming software war?
About (Office) Sharepoint Portal Server he’s absolutely right. The next version of Sharepoint Server, which probably will arive at the end of 2006 (or early 2007) will really be Microsoft’s central interface for communication. Microsoft will try to build the ultimate ‘connected system’, which will realise the power of software to enhance information exchange between people, processes, and IT. In today’s version of Sharepoint (Sharepoint 2003) Instant Messaging is already integrated. The next version (Sharepoint 2006?) will probably also include more advanced Messaging functions, like a integrated webbased messenger , a personal ‘alert management dashboard’, you personal ‘webservices monitoring tool’. Big change that products like Biztalk server 2006, Content management Server (2006?) and Commerce Server will be further integrated. So you can see Sharepoint server as the webbased central interface to control and access all your information….
SQL Server 2005, will play a big role in this. Today you have SQL Server 2000 Notification Services. With this product you can build your own applications to send Alerts to a Windows messenger or by e-mail (triggerd by inserts or changes in the SQL database). This product has a complete SDK, but isn’t really simple and takes a lot of programming to get results. The next version of SQL Server 2005 has Notification services integrated, as you can read here.
I haven’t seen it yet but i’m sure it will be far more user friendly and more powerful. I can’t wait testing this app (i got a SQL Server 2005 beta2 running, but didn’t come to this part yet). Ok… also SQL Server will be part of this war…
Finally Office Live Communication Server 2005 and future updates (about his product i have written more items on this blog) will play a huge role in this all. It will be the server platform to connect old techniques like old phones (PBX) and mobile phones, to new technology like Voice over IP (VOIP) and Messaging. Integration with the Microsoft Mail Server (Exchange) for Calendar integration and e-mail integration will also be important.
So, this are the Microsoft apps… I don’t know so much about IBM, but i’m sure they will get a hard time competing with the Microsoft suite of server products…
Any IBM specialist out there who can write a article about there weapons?