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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.

    • by WaywardGeek (1480513) on Monday October 19, 2009 @06:47PM (#29801985) Journal

      While I'm a bit of a Microsoft fan, I just can't see putting my data on their servers. It'll go Sidekick for sure.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tekiegreg (674773) *
        Well no...that's what a Backup is for. SharePoint can back up, no problem, even with their hosted editions you can keep a backup. But if you don't use the backup features, you'll suffer the Sidekick's fate for certain...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by NoYob (1630681)

      We all know (don't we?) that web metrics are inflated by mostly everybody (hits and unique visitors counting search engines as real users, ....

      Well, there's another side. Some actually under report the numbers to give that exclusive, elite, snob appeal; which then just adds to the appeal, which then more people sign on to use it. Example? I think that's what the BSD folks are doing.

    • 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 corbettw (214229) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `wttebroc'> 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.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by gbjbaanb (229885)

          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 do

      • I object. The unlimited seat license I sold implies excellent market penetration.
        • Indeed. The Site License I have has a number of users which fluctuates almost daily, with illnesses, industrial action, how many complaints I get regarding user space...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by stewbacca (1033764)
        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.
    • A good rule of thumb could be to divide any of those numbers at least by 2 to get a better picture of realty.

      I applied your correction factor to the number 2 you mentioned and that changed the correction factor to 1. Now that means your correction factor is back to 2. Now I am stuck in endless recursion and am going to run out stack and coredump.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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 ne

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FatdogHaiku (978357)
      What I find interesting is that this story shows up on the opening day of the (sold out) MS SharePoint Conference 2009...
      Where?
      Vegas Baby!
      • When work pays for travel, we take it. Vegas to be marketed at by a company? Sure. California for a Visual Basic conference? Sign me up!
         
        Don't ever assume that people go to a conference somewhere because they want/like/care about the product or the conference. A week out of town, expenses paid, and nobody to make sure you actually go? That's what business is all about baby!

        • by wisty (1335733)

          Plus, it's good for your career. While the other drones were just adding value to the company, you were "making yourself more valuable". Snicker.

      • by AJWM (19027)

        Wait, a SharePoint conference? In Vegas? With blackjack, and hookers? Forget the SharePoint....

    • We all know (don't we?) that web metrics are inflated by mostly everybody (hits and unique visitors counting search engines as real users,

      Really? I find it hard to think of a web stats service or log file analyser that does not show traffic from search engines separately.

      • by ls671 (1122017) *

        Then I am sorry, but you don't know what you are talking about !

        Google (at least addsense does for sure) for one makes requests (not all requests) faking browser headers to make sure that you don't do page cloaking. Other "stealth" search engines do the same (intelligence services, tools especially designed to artificially boost your web trafic, etc.).

        "Unique visitors" are usually counted with a timeout (the lower the timeout, the more visits you get!) that makes you counted like 10 "unique visitors" if you

  • by toygeek (473120) on Monday October 19, 2009 @06:38PM (#29801905) Homepage Journal

    That's just preposterous! I can tell you for sure that over 5 trillion servers run sharepoint, and not one of them has ever crashed.

    • by overThruster (58843) on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:25PM (#29802357)

      Why, we have the data right here on our SharePoint site--just a moment while I search for it. That's funny, all the search hits are completely irrelevant. Ah, thank goodness, someone sent me an email with the link or I never would have found it.

      Error: Access Denied
      You are currently logged in as: BORG\Microserf

      Request Access
      Use this form to request access to the resource.
      You are currently logged in as: BORG\Microserf
      Type your request, and then click Send Request.

      Aw hell, let me see if someone posted it to the wiki...

  • 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 Macgrrl (762836)

      I have definately used more user-friendly content management systems.

      • by nxtw (866177)

        I've used at least one less user-friendly content management system - Tridion.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by enzo_romeo (756095)
      I agree, its too complicated to use efficiently its not intuitive at all. As a developer, I hate using it and building sites for it because its not easy to use and damn ugly. I've taken a couple of courses on it but its one of those things that if you don't use it, you forget how to do things. I think the only people that use it and like it on the organizations I've been with are Project managers. Everyone else just avoids using it all together. Funny, in a regional web developer (50 people) meeting a
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by HangingChad (677530)

      It's a nice IDEA, but in practice, it just gets in the way.

      O-M-G it's Clippy for web servers. It looks like you're trying to post that document on a secure intranet....

      RUUUUUN!!!!

    • Re:Screw Sharepoint (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:45PM (#29802571) Journal

      Well, we use Sharepoint at our company, a reasonably large global SI. I see it as a necessary pain, myself. We share a lot of material across more than thirty countries, and I don't think sending that much SMB directory detail around to do the same thing via file shares is a particularly good use of time or bandwidth. Just listing directories on a server - geez, even the servers themselves - is a slow process when you're on the other side of the world, and we have a decent networking budget and some very, very good network people.

      That said, it's still a slow and uncomfortable alternative. The UI is a bit below par for anyone who has used a decent content management system, but I don't think that's really the problem. The problem is it's slow. You can learn the clicks if the response is good, but delays get people all bound up in navigation.

      It's based on SQL Server as a storage medium. That's a decent enough database, but it's still an RDB, and the delays in setting up connections to that database, plus all the TCP overhead bouncing from router to router in establishing that connection adds seconds to your session, seconds you wouldn't feel if the files were stored locally (to say nothing of the compression-decompression overheads).

      I think there's a fundamental misconfiguration to most Sharepoint sites, and that's the major source of its clunkyness. Using a database designed for speedy delivery of TPC-sized transactions, and using it to store whole large documents may be the best way to get Microsoft-based content available on a Microsoft-shaped browser perhaps, but it seems to me there's a lot of indexing and leaf balancing to get in the way of really crisp performance unless you're very clever with the database and have a lot more RAM available to cache it than appears rational on the surface.

      I'm not sure if there's a lot of scope to improve that, but some would certainly be appreciated. I think it needs a custom database designed to purpose, not the general purpose SQL Server engine. Just a feeling* I have.

      Cutting the number of hops somehow would help - perhaps a store-local and replicate model would do a better job; something like the block-level geographically distinct replication of fault tolerant disk farms perhaps (Didn't Exchange public folders work on this principle once?) but I don't know how I'd go about doing that.

      *A feeling perhaps helped along by 10 years as a DBA, and a year or so as a Sharepoint SME and a few years as a network engineer (basically I know just barely enough to be dangerous with it - I could be old and out of touch).

    • by Tony Hoyle (11698)

      Over complex for sure.. and not really used - I was at a place that moved to sharepoint. They might as well have kept on using SMB network shares because there was precisely zero difference other than they moved some of the directories around.

      Didn't find out until years later that it has some kind of web/intranet component as well. Had a look at it.. my god, the UI from hell. No wonder it's not used.

  • Mozilla and many other web apps counts every download as a user, ignoring the many users who had to download it multiple times because the download kept failing due to timeouts from their excessively overloaded servers.
  • 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.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Rewind (138843)
      Do you have source on this at all? Don't get me wrong, it could be very true, but some Google-fu of 360 sales numbers current gen console sales didn't show anything like this. The closest thing I really found it crazy 360 sale numbers was some estimate from EA and EA isn't really Microsoft so I guess they can say whatever they want there really. I have also never seen huge piles of 360s sitting in stores.

      The only really silly sales claim I have seen this gen was a few from Sony http://www.penny-arcade. [penny-arcade.com]
    • There were giant stacks of unsold Xbox 360s sitting in stores for months after the holidays because Microsoft has so overstuffed the retail channel

      And your proof for this is to be found - where?

      Alone among the three major videogame consoles, sales of the PS3 are down about 19% from November 2007, according to the latest stats from the NPD Group. Sony was only able to sell 378,000 PS3s this November, compared to 466,000 last year.

      And the problem for Sony isn't the recession, it's the PS3. Microsoft put up r

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      You realized that 'shipped to retailer' is extremely close to 'sold to customers' for anything that has already been released right?

      Do you think MS is sending Walmart and BestBuy Xboxes which they are just storing in some big warehouse somewhere so MS can look good? Throwing MS some extra up front cash to help them out, while they sit on the stock?

      Shipped to retailer vs sold to customer are only only different by the number sitting unsold, which is going to remain fairly consistent through out the lifetim

      • by mspohr (589790)
        I don't think that you have any experience in retail sales. Stuffing the channel is a time honored tactic for meeting end of month/quarter sales goals. It happens all of the time in every industry. The retailers cooperate by agreeing to take the product without having to pay for it, by having the right to return it at no cost and other creative 'incentives', discounts, rebates, loans, etc.

        'Shipped to retailers' is never anything close to 'sold to consumers'. It's a shell game. That's why people build

  • Not Surprised (Score:3, Interesting)

    by segedunum (883035) on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:05PM (#29802169)
    Sharepoint is a honking great pile of meaningless crap that just creates costs for everyone at every turn. 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. There is also a ton of confusion as to how it should actually be used, and considering that it is sold to enterprises pretty much exclusively then people scratching their heads over how to use it and what it is actually does is not good. What's worse is that people don't want to learn what it is for either. If someone feels they need a CMS or something then they will go out and get one.

    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. As a result it has no mindshare whatsoever. I was always suspicious that there was any kind of real momentum behind it.
    • 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 segedunum (883035)

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

        You're still talking about additional server licensing and administration.

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

        Which means that nobody is developing for it. Whenever you have a product that is only sold to enterprises rather than to the wider world it is very, very difficult for external developers to l

        • by nxtw (866177)

          You're still talking about additional server licensing and administration.

          Big companies have big IT departments to do these things.

          Which means that nobody is developing for it. Whenever you have a product that is only sold to enterprises rather than to the wider world it is very, very difficult for external developers to learn it and for software vendors to provide all the useful add-ons that really provide killer support for it and actually make it useful.

          There's enough of a market for third-party addons t

        • You're still talking about additional server licensing and administration.

          Virtual is its own reward.

          VM's are very useful for fast rollback, deployment and load balancing, and in my opinion that's equally valuable to the hardware they save (and we've seen 20:1 min, more like 50:1 with occasional 100:1 server packings). The extra admin is offset by much faster MTTR (Changes crash system? Close it and reboot previous image).

          The real problem is the proliferation of VM disk images. They grow amazingly numerous. Get a good data de-duplication system to help with that.

          Microsoft has p

    • The last I looked at it you *have* to run it as a default site, so that means you need yet another server

      If you install it correctly, by following the installation guides (or even just the prompts on screen), SharePoint leaves your default site well alone - you can either install your SharePoint sites using host headers, or different port numbers.

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

      I think you will find that SharePoint development is a huge market, and is expanding every day. From my personal experience, demand is high in both small and large businesses.

  • 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 _Sprocket_ (42527)

      The issue isn't whether the sales numbers are good. The issue is whether it is really successful - are that many people actually using it? There's a world of difference between, say 80% happy, productive customers and 15% happy, productive customers. When marketing is using these numbers to imply that your own purchase would open the gates of success, what those numbers really mean are important and worth criticizing.

      • by timmarhy (659436)
        so the OSS crowd have sour grapes about people buying sharepoint and not utilising all it's features? So why even bring sales features into it, since that's not the arguement?

        if people spent even 1/2 the time working on competing apps rather then whinging about MS, OSS might actaully make some headway.

    • But if it just got thrown into a package, then no.

    • 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.

      The story isn't merely to begrudge MS its sales. The point here is that even perceived momentum will push more users into Sharepoint on the assumption that a large user base is using it, which will be interpretted as Sharepoint being a system that will be any easy sell:

      • Executives already know what it is
      • No user training required
      • Easy to find experience sysadmins

      Such a marketing approach will mis-lead IT departments away from knowledge management systems that really solve the problems that Sharepoint does not

    • by tsalmark (1265778)
      I can tell you hundreds of companies that have licensed Sharepoint for all their employees and no one in the company knows that it even exists. Many small businesses run and Exchange server. In many cases the cheapest way to get an exchange server is to get an SBS license which wouldn't you know it includes Sharepoint licenses. These companies only want outlook to work, they have no interest in the other bits that come with SBS.
      • SBS includes WSS3, but so does plain old Windows Server 2008 - but theres no evidence that those licences are being counted here.
  • by snikulin (889460)

    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 mini

  • by Simulant (528590) on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:14PM (#29802263) Journal

    I work for a small computer support firm and we have around 400 SBS 2003 and 2008 customers. All of them have Sharepoint installed. None of them know it exists. Exactly one of them uses it for anything (web access to shared calendar).

    Hell, I can't even figure out what it's good for.

  • by dan_barrett (259964) on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:32PM (#29802433)

    I administer the free version of Sharepoint at work. (sharepoint 3.0)

    It's yet another tool from Microsoft where -

    All the data is stored in one large impenetrable database blob - most content is stored in two dimensional "lists", which somewhat limits what you can do in terms of building online forms etc. ALL the list data is stored in the one table, which makes it non-intuitive to make that data visible outside of sharepoint.
    It's easy for end users to generate lists, calendars, annoucement pages, document stores, surveys etc etc to their hearts content, so you end up with a big sprawling mess if it's poorly administered
    it's easy to add canned 'web parts" but impossble to alter the functionality of those parts. eg, try to prevent staff from seeing survey results, for example. (yes, it's possible but it's not exactly intuitive, and extremely hard without the assitance of Sharepoint designer, which was not free until recently)
    Microsoft keep changing the search engine strategy for the product; Search has mysteriously failed on our implementation with few error messages to provide clues.
    It doesn't really work properly unless you integrate it with Active directory, Microsoft Office, Infopath, and ideally MS Exchange. Vendor lockin for the win!

    So why are we using it? Our staff love it, as it's easy for the end user to figure out; but it's an absolute pig to administer.

    In terms of usage stats, I note it comes with every copy of Windows small business server. Perhaps they're including that in the usage stats?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by jvolk (229717)

      I have worked fairly extensively with Sharepoint and used it as a platform for developing several different kinds of applications. That being said...

      You hit the mark on most of your points
      * Yes, the database is impenetrable (and it supposed to be - you aren't supposed to muck with it) - keep in mind this isn't an open source product

      * Lots of the features are too dumb for programmers/power users but easy for regular users to muck up - this is a governance issue and all "portals" can suffer from this

      * Canned

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by balbeir (557475)
      For a second I thought you were describing lotus notes.
  • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:37PM (#29802505) Journal

    I'm working on a project right now for setting up an internal document management system. Ran up a blind alley of learning Drupal (that took a while!) only to discover that it wasn't suitable. Evaluated a few more (including SharePoint) and ended up going with the free and open-source TikiWiki instead. To quote McDonald's, I'm loving it!

  • by 517714 (762276) on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:46PM (#29802577)

    to reduce the unused space on my hard drive

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Unless you need the most simplistic, minimal workflow, 90s table based GUI, and wanna avoid developers like a plague..

    I am NOT alone, read this
    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/256407/what-are-your-biggest-complaints-about-sharepoint

  • by Orion Blastar (457579) <orionblastar&gmail,com> on Monday October 19, 2009 @09:24PM (#29803339) Homepage Journal

    I know that Law Firms had a conference to use Sharepoint for Legal Practice Management Software. I wrote an original ASP based Docket Calendar, and Law Firms want to move their Docket Calendars to Sharepoint. I can tell you that when you have a law firm and you want reliability, Microsoft isn't always the best choice. Some law firms still use Wordperfect and other non-MS software because they have found MS software to be low quality in performance and reliability. But the majority of big law firms are hooked on Microsoft for everything as Microsoft bundles software into neat packages for them and provides paid support for everything. The big law firms think that putting everything on Microsoft is a safe bet, but the law firm I worked at went millions of dollars over budget because of support calls, replacing hardware, replacing software, and hiring consultants when Microsoft could not give any answers or solutions to our problems. Back then it was Windows 2000, Office 2000, and Visual BASIC 6.0, and ASP 3.0, but the move to Dotnet only made matters worse. Finally Microsoft is working out the bugs in Dotnet, but in doing so they have created new ones. Sharepoint 3.0 was a nifty program until Microsoft filled it with bloated features that it needs Windows 2008 Server because it won't run on older Windows Servers forcing companies to pay for upgrades to Windows 2008 Server and new server hardware, just like the last time I used Windows Server and Microsoft software in a legal environment.

    Keep in mind these are "hidden costs" that do not count many wasted work hours trying to work around the MS bugs in programming, or trying to restore a crashed server or workstation. That expenses can reach record amounts as well as have downtime for the entire firm.

    There are only two known FOSS alternatives to Sharepoint [osalt.com] but Wiki sites are usually better and faster and in most cases free to use. I tried getting Wiki implemented in my former work places only to be laughed at. But a Wiki search is faster than a Sharepoint search, and a Wiki need not use Windows Server and can run on Linux, *BSD Unix, or Mac OSX or some other platform to save money.

    • by rsborg (111459)

      There are only two known FOSS alternatives to Sharepoint [osalt.com] but Wiki sites are usually better and faster and in most cases free to use

      Your link completely misses out on many other wiki options (mediaWiki, TikiWiki, Drupal, Plone, Joomla... the list is large), and the info is dated (Alfresco has released 3.0 for quite some time).

      I would strongly recommend actually doing a good options analysis on alternatives to Sharepoint, and make sure you focus on features you actually need or plan on needing in the near

  • No, Microsoft wouldn't lie about statistics.... Would they?
  • by Anarchitektur (1089141) on Monday October 19, 2009 @10:06PM (#29803637)
    I'm a consultant for an Microsoft Gold Partner VAR for one of the Microsoft business applications, and a lot of times the talking heads at Microsoft will go on and on about the "Microsoft Stack" and how CRM can integrate with SharePoint and all this kind of stuff, but in all the years that I have been working in this field, I have never once encountered an implementation of SharePoint at a client, nor have I had any requests to do one.

    That does not mean that there isn't interest at a lot of these companies for SharePoint, though. It's just that the total cost after purchasing the licenses and then paying someone to implement it properly is too cost prohibitive for the types of companies that would benefit from using it.

    Furthermore, there really are not very many "guru-level" people on SharePoint. There's barely any "adequate" talent for SharePoint... I hear it all the time from a lot of my peers that there's not even anyone out in the field trying to get a practice started up around it in this very large, very wealthy (per captia) city. Excuses range from "lack of demand" to "no one to do the work", to the ever popular "everyone is only seeing the tip of the iceberg" that Microsoft is so apt to spin.

    So, that's my perspective as someone in the realm of that field... whatever that is worth.
  • It's been known for a while that numbers on stuff like their CRM and Sharepoint aren't based on actual USER base. Merely how many licenses are out in the wild including guestimates of pirate copies.. This means, if you have an Action Pack subscription, you're counted. If you're on MSDN, you're counted. If you're a warez hound pirating this stuff in south-central Spotlsylvania, yup, you're counted too-ski.

    So it comes as exactly zero surprise that the numbers are so baked that someone's considering an int

  • Every organization I have dealt with since the dawn of SharePoint still has 90% of the sites every created up and 'available' even if they haven't had any content updates in the last 5 years. Counting 'zombie' SharePoint sites is a nice way to pad your deployment stats, IMHO. SharePoint is overkill for dead projects where no one will ever look at anything other than the executive summary of your lessons learned document.
  • While I am not a fan of SharePoint at all, I understand that one thing it does is provide versioning for MS Office files, such as Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. Now, I am used to version control from CVS, Subversion, and Git, and I think this is immensely valuable.

    Having worked in various organizations which use MS Office extensively, I see that a lot of time is wasted figuring out which is the latest version of a document, where it is, what the differences are between that version and some version

  • by jayhawk88 (160512) <jayhawk88@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @06:12AM (#29805805)

    A lot of people bashing Sharepoint, no surprise there, but here's something you need to be aware of. Sharepoint is where projects go to die. Seriously, nothing kills a project faster, and more quietly, than putting it on Sharepoint.

    Dead projects may seem like a bad idea, but we all know that not every project deserves life. Take a server, install Sharepoint/Sharepoint Services on it, and wait. When you get "that project", the one no one wants to touch with a 10 foot pole, that's when it's time for Sharepoint. You can make a case for using it for just about anything. Collaboration is a very powerful buzzword.

    Setup a bare bones template site to use for anything like this that comes along, customize it for the walking dead project in question, give all the users rights, a brief tutorial on how to login and use it, then wait. If they want more training, say that you will look into off-site or online training options to stall. You'll find that a few eager beavers will upload a few documents, customize a few things, maybe even send out a workflow or something, but all activity on the site should wither and die within two weeks. If you happen to get some savant who just thinks it's great and is trying to spur everyone else into using it, make him and admin of the site. That will sufficiently bog him down. Within 6 months, they'll be back to printing out emails and meeting in person to avoid having to use the site.

  • by tedgyz (515156) * on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @07:30AM (#29806253) Homepage

    We have a corporate sharepoint site that is supposed to help us share documents and collaborate. In reality, it is a confusing maze of pages with way too much embedded functionality.

    In summary, I hate it!

  • by Whiteox (919863) <htcstech@gmREDHATail.com minus distro> 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

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