There's been a lot of anti-SharePoint buzz in the Enterprise 2.0 blogosphere as of late. Most of the negativity is based on the fact that MOSS 2007 is seriously lacking with respect to social computing features. Not even Microsoft debates that point anymore. The following is an excerpt from a blog post by Oscar Berg of The Content Economy that summarizes this position very well:

"SharePoint / MOSS 2007 is designed for the (Windows) desktop and for collaborating on office documents inside the corporate firewalls. It is not designed for collaboration in broader terms - not even for simple file sharing if it goes across corporate firewalls. Furthermore, it is not designed for the web, it has only rudimentary Web 2.0 features and tools (such as blogs and wikis), it is not built with Web 2.0 technologies, and it lacks core Web 2.0 qualities such as ease-of-use. Despite all this, SharePoint is platform with a lot of capabilities which can be extended and leveraged through customization, third-party tools and complementary products and services. The key problem is just that many of the companies that have bought SharePoint 2007 believe they got more than just the basic capabilities out-of-the-box. They might not be ready for additional investments. This will most likely hold back the value they can get from their original investment in SharePoint."

Oscar's position should not come as a surprise any of us who are familiar with both Enterprise 2.0 and MOSS 2007. Here are my thoughts:
  • MOSS 2007 is not a good choice for an Enterprise 2.0 platform. It is a good choice in meeting much broader collaboration and content management requirements. So if you're looking for the latter, either accept SharePoint as a weak Enterprise 2.0 platform or plan to augment SharePoint with best-of-breed Enterprise 2.0 add-ins and tools.

  • The Enterprise 2.0 features in MOSS 2007 (i.e. blogs, wikis, profiles, etc.) they are infinitely more than what a lot of enterprises have today. Therefore, MOSS 2007 may still represent an important step in the right direction toward Enterprise 2.0.

  • Enterprise 2.0 is really more about a cultural shift in the way we do work than it is about implementing a specific set of technologies. This cultural shift is necessary regardless of the technologies we implement. Based on the maturity level of most companies, SharePoint may adequately support their Enterprise 2.0 cultural shift.

  • While MOSS 2007 is a weak Enterprise 2.0 platform, I hold out hope that future versions of MOSS improve significantly. While I don't expect MOSS 14 to be perfect, I do expect that it will meet our Enterprise 2.0 requirements for the next few years.

  • Although my preference is to use MOSS 2007 out-of-the-box, there are times when 3rd-party add-ins make sense. The MOSS wiki, for example, is particularly bad. The Kwizcom WikiPlus add-in is a good example of what Microsoft partners are doing to take advantage of MOSS's current shortcomings.

Are you concerned about MOSS 2007's social computing limitations? Or do you agree with me that it is good enough for where most of us are at right now?

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