The Lost World of Microsoft Collaboration

Picture the excitement as early adopters cross the chasm into the world of true cloud collaboration with Google, working in real-time inside documents, replacing costly video conferencing and storage software, since it’s built right into Google Apps.

Now picture the fear and frustration caused by the dinosaurs at Microsoft. They’ve got years of embedded enterprise experience, but the Microsoft cloud world is too cumbersome and unintuitive. Have you tried it? You can’t find anything in there. Users get lost, angry, and frustrated, with horrible consequences. It’s as if the company created a new attraction to fulfill a corporate mandate, and is moving existing customers into to an ill-prepared, murky environment.

It sounds eerily like the movie premise for the latest in the Jurassic Park series, entitled “The Lost World”, which should be out later this year. Here’s a paraphrased description from IMDb:


“22 years after Jurassic Park opened, the island now features dinosaurs at a place called Jurassic World. After years of visitor rates in decline, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to spark interest, which backfires with horrible consequences.”


The years are a little different, otherwise it sounds a lot like Microsoft, with its efforts to draw customers into an unfortunate experience described as cloud collaboration.

Though Microsoft initially defined business collaboration long ago with its server-based model, its version (remember versions? I haven’t thought of those since I started using Google) wasn’t built for the cloud, and the unfortunate users it is luring into its lost cloud world are finding that out, and many are trying to escape.

Over 5 million businesses and millions more users have turned to Google, a company with products ‘born’ in the cloud. Millions of students are also now using Google for collaboration, learning, and fun. As those students become tomorrow’s leaders, they’ll likely demand Google as their collaborative tool set of choice.

Google Chrome devices are now the top selling devices in education, and the Google Chrome browser has overtaken Internet Explorer as the top business browser in the U.S.

Maybe today’s Microsoft cloud collaboration dinosaurs are more purple Barney-silly, and less velociraptor Jurassic World-scary. And its days as a cloud collaboration ‘threat’ are probably numbered. I just hope the customers still trapped in its lost world find their way out, and over to Google. It’s actually good for business over here.