TechCrunch waxes poetical on the threat to Microsoft, and in particular the exalted position of Outlook, that Facebook poses.

TechCrunch says that;

Facebook succeeds because it is the killer web application for communications and personal information management. Facebook Mail is not without its problems, but the combination of Facebook Mail, Facebook Chat, and what is functionally an auto updating address book, makes Facebook into the new Outlook not only for those who are inside of Silicon Valley, but for anyone of the millions of people who use Facebook as either their sole or their primary digital identity

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m an evangelist for web-based solutions and I’m also a fan boy (does that term work for anything other than Apple) of disruption in general – but lets look dispassionately at this one. The statistics are pretty telling, Outlook has massive market share in the business world (read – where the dollars are MS is) and rather than being disrupted outright, my view is that Microsoft will iterate their products to meet the market. We’ve already seen some things along these lines (check out Xobni if you haven’t already – great search and social aspects for Outlook) – at one stage Microsoft was rumoured to be in the process of purchasing Xobni, this never eventuated but clearly it is an area where Outlook may move.

As TechCrunch says;

what is the take away from all of this? For Microsoft to pick up the proverbial ball and start running with it, it will need to listen to what the consumer wants, and design products that fit those needs, rather than assuming that the consumer will buy whatever it is that Microsoft hands them, just because it is a Microsoft product. And, the young consumers of today, the big spenders of tomorrow, want products that are focused on mobility, ease of use, speed, and simplicity

I agree entirely – but caution people not to write of Microsoft just yet

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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