With the announcement that Microsoft Sharepoint's Knowledge Network technical preview is closed, it looks like for the moment that IBM Lotus and some of the other portal players still have the advantage in terms of providing an enterprise social software suite - Mike Gotta comments:
"It will be interesting to see how Microsoft is able to respond to organizations interested in social software ("Enterprise 2.0") given the delay in KN. In MOSS 2007, I find that the blog support is not all that great, the wiki support does not seem better than leading wiki-specific vendors, there is no tag/social bookmark support directly (there is a third-party add-on), and no XML syndication feed server. There is also not all that much in the way of social networking support"
Some how I doubt that this will have a major impact on the adoption of Microsoft Sharepoint - afterall, organisations aren't choosing Sharepoint primarily it for its social software capabilities. But not only, as Gotta suggests, will there be "numerous smaller vendors that have the opportunity to gain some market attention", but for those shops who are tied to an Microsoft-based intranet play they will continue to experience tension between their technology strategy and their user community's wants while this vacuum continues. In a comment on the MSDN Knowledge Network blog someone complains:
"I was under the impression that it would be released as an RTW - I have a major bank in Australia waiting on the RTW so they can roll it out across their 15000 staff as part of their Sharepoint implementation. I'm also giving a demo of the KN in July at a SharePoint User group. Based on your response, I may have to cancel that presentation."
Whoops... despite Microsoft's assurances, will Knowledge Network turn out to be vapourware and how does this reflect on their credentials in this space?