Home Microsoft May Launch Microblogging Product

Microsoft May Launch Microblogging Product

If you’re a Microsoft shop weighing your microblogging options, you might want to wait a little longer. Microsoft may launch a competitor to enterprise microblogging tools like Yammer and Salesforce.com’s Chatter called OfficeTalk.

OfficeTalk was first demonstrated last year as part of Office Labs and has been tested internally at Microsoft. ZDNet’s Mary-Jo Foley spotted a blog post by Microsoft’s Steve Clayton quoting Office Labs Program Manager Quinn Hawkins saying that OfficeTalk has passed the “funded incubation phase” and is being considered by product managers.

Here’s the quote Foley spotted:

OfficeTalk is a good example of something that started as a project in The Garage, became a funded incubation, and now is being considered by the product teams. It was originally an idea that two Program Managers had, but neither of them were coders. That didn’t matter, though. They were super-excited about the idea so they fleshed out the design a bit and ended up getting a few friends to spend a couple weekends building it. As word spread, they got more help and pretty soon the project had 8-10 people contributing to it.

This could become a “social layer” for Microsoft’s products, much the same way Salesforce.com seems to be implementing Chatter. On the other hand, Microsoft could end up passing on it. However, considering the considerable traction microblogging vendors have experienced in the enterprise and the value activity streams can bring even to do established products, it would be surprising for Microsoft to pass-up on this.

We took a look at the product last year when it was in Labs. You can read our coverage here.

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