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Network World - Microsoft's SharePoint Server is on a billion dollar juggernaut to potentially become the next must-have technology, offering companies tools for building everything from collaborative applications to Internet sites and potentially handing Microsoft its next cash cow.
"I have not seen anything like this since the early days of [Lotus] Notes," says Mike Gotta, an analyst with the Burton Group. In those days, corporate users were enamored with a shiny new technology that seemed to have infinite uses. "The talk [around SharePoint] is getting strategic now and people are talking about it as a middleware decision," Gotta says.
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 is the fastest growing product in the company's history and seems to have as many uses as a Swiss Army knife. Its six focus areas are collaboration, portal, search, enterprise content management (ECM), business process management and business intelligence.(Compare collaboration products.)
Just last month, Microsoft added a hosted alternative to fuel adoption. There is a "perfect storm," observers say, around SharePoint in terms of the popularity of Web-based computing, demand for less-expensive ECM and portal tools, collaboration technology and integration around Microsoft's Office suite.
The attention is a wake up call for competitors, especially IBM/Lotus, as SharePoint could pull customers to other Microsoft software because it is closely integrated with Microsoft's unified communications stack, its e-mail server, Office and Office applications including back-end file sharing repositories for Excel, Word and PowerPoint.