Plenty of reports kicking today about Microsoft’s plans to launch a microblogging service called OfficeTalk that looks very similar to Twitter, which is it aiming at the enterprise market.
ReadWriteWeb reports that Microsoft is testing OfficeTalk for the enterprise market and apparently it will offer it as an “on-premise service”.
It says that OfficeTalk is being developed by Microsoft’s OfficeLabs, which test internally developed ideas, and quotes the software giant saying “the OfficeTalk microblogging experience itself looks very similar to other well-known services”.
Microsoft is already opening the test up to firms that want to join the pilot programme. There are a few screen shots up on the Microsoft site where you can see user profiles and how people post… in 140 characters or less. Very much like Twitter in how you read messages of those you follow and find people.
It will be interesting to see if it can find a slice of the microblogging market in the enterprise market.
While media and tech companies have widely adopted Twitter internally (like Sky News and its use of Tweetdeck), I’m not sure many businesses, some of which have banned staff from social networking sites like Facebook at work, will immediately feel they want to jump onboard unless someone spells out the immediate benefit. Twitter has succeeded as it is great at building internal communities and I could for instance see internal groups organising projects around something like OfficeTalk, but is that enough? I’m not sure it is.
Microsoft says it has employed internally and has had over 10,000 visitors and hundreds of messages posted daily.
“We’re now making OfficeTalk available to a few customers in a small pilot test. Because this is an early-stage concept, the OfficeTalk microblogging experience itself looks very similar to other well-known services. The key difference is that the enterprise owns the data since the OfficeTalk server is hosted in the customer’s organization. We will be releasing updates periodically to test more of the ideas we’re thinking about. Stay tuned.”