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Microsoft

Microsoft May Be Inflating SharePoint Stats 225

Posted by kdawson
from the pay-no-attention-to-the-man dept.
ericatcw writes "Taking a page out of McDonalds 'billions and billions served,' Microsoft says it reaps $1.3 billion a year from more than 100 million users of its SharePoint collab app. But some suggest that the figures are consciously inflated by Microsoft sales tactics in order to boost the appearance of momentum for the platform, reports Computerworld. A recent survey suggests that less than a fourth of users licensed for SharePoint actually use it. SharePoint particularly lags as a platform for Web sites, according to the same survey, a situation Microsoft hopes to fix with the upcoming SharePoint 2010."
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Microsoft May Be Inflating SharePoint Stats

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  • by ls671 (1122017) * on Monday October 19, 2009 @06:36PM (#29801873) Homepage

    I don't use Share Point and I don't especially like Microsoft but just to put things in perspective:

    We all know (don't we?) that web metrics are inflated by mostly everybody (hits and unique visitors counting search engines as real users, .NET tags added to user agent just because you used windows update to update your computer, etc. etc.)

    A good rule of thumb could be to divide any of those numbers at least by 2 to get a better picture of realty.

  • Screw Sharepoint (Score:5, Insightful)

    by realmolo (574068) on Monday October 19, 2009 @06:49PM (#29802001)

    Seriously. It's overly complex, and doesn't really make anything easier for the vast majority of users. It's a nice IDEA, but in practice, it just gets in the way. It's one of those things that big companies buy and use thinking that it will solve their communication problems, when in fact all it does is create different and worse problems.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2009 @06:53PM (#29802043)

    Both Nintendo and Sony report actual 'sold to customer' for their sales numbers.

    Microsoft, however, consistently lies about their sales figures for the Xbox by using 'shipped to retailer' numbers in order to make their worldwide sales numbers look larger than they actually are.

    They even went so far as to flood the retail channel a couple holiday seasons ago with extra Xbox 360 consoles by leveraging their other Microsoft products just so they could put out press releases claiming huge 'sales'. There were giant stacks of unsold Xbox 360s sitting in stores for months after the holidays because Microsoft has so overstuffed the retail channel.

    No surprise that they are doing the same type of installed base/sales inflating. Standard operating procedure for Microsoft.

  • by craenor (623901) on Monday October 19, 2009 @06:57PM (#29802075) Homepage
    FWIW ... In my experience SharePoint is a flexible, feature-rich, capable tool. I was skeptical at first, mostly because I just didn't feel like learning it. But as a Project Manager I haven't found a better tool to replace the services you get from SharePoint.

    If you're stuck with it because your company bought it and expects you to use it, then my honest advice is to, man-up, take a training course [dell.com] and learn to use it.
  • by 1729 (581437) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `9271todhsals'> on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:05PM (#29802167)

    FWIW ... In my experience SharePoint is a flexible, feature-rich, capable tool. I was skeptical at first, mostly because I just didn't feel like learning it. But as a Project Manager I haven't found a better tool to replace the services you get from SharePoint.

    If you're stuck with it because your company bought it and expects you to use it, then my honest advice is to, man-up, take a training course [dell.com] and learn to use it.

    Gee, you don't by any chance work for Dell [google.com], do you?

  • by LibertineR (591918) on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:11PM (#29802233)
    Talk about sour grapes......

    Whether every single SharePoint CAL that was purchased is actually in use, is irrelevant to the point of ridicule.

    Did they sell it? Did someone BUY it? THEN COUNT it, baby!

    Instead of bitching, someone should be crediting Microsoft for how they manage their CALs and bundling.

    This is like arguing over how many copies of MS Paint are used on a daily basis. It hardly matters. Microsoft sold it, and pocketed the income, which is cash that most likely WONT go to a SharePoint competitor, whether SharePoint gets used or not.

  • by nxtw (866177) on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:12PM (#29802237)

    We all know (don't we?) that web metrics are inflated by mostly everybody (hits and unique visitors counting search engines as real users, .NET tags added to user agent just because you used windows update to update your computer, etc. etc.)

    Irrelevant. SharePoint isn't an end-user application; it's a web-based application, and is mostly implemented on intranets. The number of SharePoint users can't be measured by web metrics. SharePoint is occasionally used on internet-facing sites, but it is licensed differently.

    Microsoft is claiming they have sold some amount of SharePoint client licenses and therefore have that many SharePoint users; the argument is the number of actual users is significantly smaller than the number of sold licenses.

  • by snikulin (889460) on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:12PM (#29802249)

    Microsoft May Be Inflating SharePoint Stats

    But some suggest...
    A recent survey suggests...

    suggest From Meriam Webster:
    synonyms suggest, imply, hint, intimate, insinuate mean to convey an idea indirectly. suggest may stress putting into the mind by association of ideas, awakening of a desire, or initiating a train of thought . imply is close to suggest but may indicate a more definite or logical relation of the unexpressed idea to the expressed . hint implies the use of slight or remote suggestion with a minimum of overt statement . intimate stresses delicacy of suggestion without connoting any lack of candor . insinuate applies to the conveying of a usually unpleasant idea in a sly underhanded manner .

  • Re:Not Surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nxtw (866177) on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:15PM (#29802273)

    The last I looked at it you *have* to run it as a default site, so that means you need yet another server and it's part of the panopoly of ridiculous deployment shite coming from the MSDN lunatics at the company that you can use to blow your foot off with.

    Large organizations that use SharePoint probably already have a large virtual machine farm, and would have used separate VMs in any case.

    Because it only seems to be sold to 'enterprises' that means that the wider world isn't using it at all and many software developers won't be writing for it either.

    People are definitely developing for SharePoint. Most development is oriented for enterprise use, however.

    As a result it has no mindshare whatsoever. I was always suspicious that there was any kind of real momentum behind it.

    SharePoint has mindshare within large organizations.

  • by corbettw (214229) <`corbettw' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:49PM (#29802619) Journal

    Eh, if that's what they're doing, who cares? They know how many licenses they've sold, and they know how many seats those licenses cover. They can't possibly know how many of those seats are actively used, so of course the only useful data they can share is the first set and ignore the second.

    Saying they have "millions of users" isn't particularly meaningful, but at least in this case it's not really deceptive, either.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:50PM (#29802623)

    Licensed copies of the software $100,000
    Software and development products $500,000.
    Training. $150,000

    Hire more people. $1,000,000
    New hardware $500,000.

    Billions from thousands

    Then start developing. 10 times as long to get a product out.

    So how much would a GNU project cost now?

    Ubuntu server Free
    Web Page Tutuorial for setting up Joomullalalala :) Free
    Hardware, probably donated junk Free
    Cost of operation, Electricity.

    Hone those OSS skills boy's. With the Whitehouse bailing out mofo's left and right they'll need to cut costs.

    There is no wizard for starting a new sharepoint application in Visual Studio.
    There is no deployment wizard for deploying a sharepoint solution.
    There is no live debugger for debugging a sharepoint webpart.

    You thought Vista liked RAM.

    There's your billions.

  • by DrWho42 (558107) on Monday October 19, 2009 @08:06PM (#29802753) Homepage
    I agree that SharePoint sucks, and I took a training course. I work for a large corp that has migrated all of the intranet to SP and my colleagues and I pretty much universally dislike it. It's slow, bloated, and the access controls are like a Soviet bureaucracy. If the only software that you use is Microsoft, then it can be a useful tool. But if you try to deal with Sharepoint using Firefox or Linux, it is extremely frustrating. If you are accustomed to the openness and speed of mediawiki then SP feels like a dog. I'll be setting up a Wave server as soon as google releases the source.
  • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @04:04AM (#29805243)

    Ah, but as its a web-based server thing, how can they know how many users are served by those sites? I may have sharepoint installed, but used by 2 users - me n Dave. Or it could be serving the entire 4000-person corporate.

    So I expect they extrapolate from sharepoint sales, and Office sales - everyone using Word uses Sharepoint, right - they bought a licence at the same time, therefore.... Standard marketing-logic for 'we sold loads'. I'm sure the cash sales figures are correct however.

    Of course, it also doesn't consider the number of users who bought sharepoint, tried it, then junked it as the biggest pile of steaming stuff ever to come out of MS.

  • by Whiteox (919863) <htcstech@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:41AM (#29807071) Journal

    The problem here is that Microsoft includes addons in their mainstream software and expects users and admins to be fully up-to-speed with the implementation/roll-out, training with the expectation that it is a lock-step process without too much regard to why they put it there in the first place.
    It's a mind-set game IMHO where you have to closely follow MS thought processes, jargon and developmental time-line to make it work effectively, even though you don't necessarily want it. In other words you have to know what MS is thinking all the time and there is no easy way to do that without spending an inordinate amount of time on courses, reading, subscribing, trialing and the whole shebang.
    It's a 'top down' implementation. They think of it, program it, sell it or give it away and expect everyone to use it.
    I think what would be better would be more emphasis on what the user wants in a 'bottom up' approach.
    What's the point in trying to change office practice and procedure when it is either not necessary, too hard to implement and train for? Or is it another waste of certificate paper and gold stars?
    How much collaboration do you really need? A lot depends on management practices, when it is rare nowadays to find individuals who can complete a task without sharing or intervention as opposed to unnecessary and pointless team work which may be counter-productive.
    My $0.99c worth

  • by dawich (945673) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @12:06PM (#29810611)
    Did this before. When 2000/AD came out, they started claiming huge numbers of NOS seats, more than Netware, because everyone who owned 2000Pro, or XP, had an AD/Server CAL. It was determined that the majority of these weren't being used to connect to domains anyway, but they were advertising their obvious superiority to Netware based on seats sold. So, yeah, business as usual. Many of these 'licensed' SharePoint seats are probably from a CAL package that includes SharePoint, in Enterprise Agreements. Many state government entities are having the basic SharePoint CAL included in their EA in the hopes that they might use it later on.
  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @02:38PM (#29813093)
    My company has 400 employees (thus at least 400 SharePoint user licenses), but I'd bet only about 25 of us actually use it. Not that MS cares--they made their sale. That's what Microsoft is good at--getting companies to buy more copies of software than their organization actually needs, then getting them to upgrade said unneeded software every few years.

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