I spent much of the day at Office 2.0 conference here in San Francisco, which has attracted attendees from near and far. Earlier this morning I moderated a panel, Office 2.0: Where are we? and walked away with some valuable insights, and a conclusion – Office 2.0 as a concept of working differently is powerful, but needs refinement and has to move away from the traditional notions of what is office.
More on this later, but for now I want to get your take on all this. What do you think about this Office 2.0 thing and how do you define it?
PS: Rafe Needleman, and Dan Farber are blogging the conference and have some great stuff. Teqlo and Coghead launched today. I have written about them in the past. Jeff Nolan is now the CEO of Teqlo and he is telling his story here.
11 thoughts on “Office 2.0, the conference & the concept”
I think it’s just another iron in the fire for Google. YouTube and other ventures will be the story in 10 years.
It’s not the application that I particularly care about, it’s the fact that I can have my data when and where I want it. That’s the theme, and hopefully over the next 10 years we will see PC’s and all other technological devices move towards that single “cloud of data in the sky”.
Wow, Rick… It’s odd that we both selected the 10 year timeframe and posted at the exact same time 😉
my thoughts after one full day at the conference – this is a very important shift, it will take time, and it needs behavior change. calling it office 2.0 is what is the problem, because of the excellent brand microsoft did with their office product. it is more like co-work 2.0.
i think why virtual companies are great is because they are about work, not about physical proximity, or politics and pure collaboration. whether it is via IM or email or whatever. I don’t much care for the outlook clones or word processors online. i care about working anywhere. tools that do that are what i am searching for right now.
but i am going to remain excited about where this “trend” is going to go.
I wish i could have been at the office 2.0 conference.
Om you have hit the nail on the head, office 2.0 can’t be a simple replacement for existing products on the market. And fortunately I don’t think it is.
Web2.0 apps can radically alter business process and workflow.
I think all companies will eventually adopt individual home pages for their workers. Such a homepage will deliver email, IM, RSS feeds (internal and external), company specific gadgets/mashups/applications and the ability to author documents online. This page will of course be available from any device and location. It will be the center of the enterprise workflow replacing outlook, excel and intranet as the primary business tools used today.
Apps will also be easier to build and deploy which is why the launch of Teqlo and Coghead in addition to Dabble and other open APIs is crucial to Office2.0.
I don’t think it will take 10 years, I think it will be around half that time. We do need to come up with a collective name other than Office2.0.
Regarding Office 2.0 as it relates to what we think of as traditional office software applications (word processing, spreadsheets, presentations), I think Robert is right that it’s about having access to my files no mater where I am. In this sense, I think Office desktop and webtop applications will go the route of email.
Today, I have an email server on the web. I can choose to access my IMAP email account from anywhere using a browser. I can access not only my inbox, but also the folders I’ve created for clients, projects and other stuff I need to store. But, unless it’s inconvenient or impossible, I choose to access it via Mail.app on my MacBook Pro. The desktop app is more responsive, has more features, allows me to access files while offline, and integrates seamlessly with other applications.
Why can’t our word processors work the same way (and our spreadsheets and presentation packages)? In this analogy, Pages is Mail, and Google Docs is webmail. The opportunities are tremendous, and the technical hurdles imminently surmountable.
As I wrote on Applemorphic.com, I’m hoping ES’s spot on Apple’s board means that Google Office will become the webtop companion to Pages, Keynote and Lasso.
“no” should be an option in the poll. i don’t see any major advantages to online word processing or spreadsheet apps beyond what you can already accomplish with the desktop version. better version control, maybe? but in an office environment, that seems more of a minor advantage.
online presentations are another story.
I agree with Simon, and looking forward to new ways of ‘getting things done’, not playing with the dumb clones of desktop counterparts.
If some one is looking for just great set of collaboration tools, why are we forgetting wikis. Why do we need clones of desktop counterparts instead? If we create a doc using writely/zoho or thinkfree, we are still thinking in terms of creating a doc and sending an email? No change in the way we think about colloboration. Why can’t we just create the doc on wiki. Instant communication and colloboration. No fuss. Plain and better communication.
And, I don’t believe that people want to build their own apps using coghead and likes. Its like building your own electronic toys back in 70s. Except a few kids and geeks, nobody built or building their own electronic gadgets. I guess, same with the build-your-own-web-app stuff. That would change nothing in the way you carry out your daily life. It just that you create it on your own. Doesn’t make any sense to me.
With all the hype around Web2.0, it would be tempting to make everything an online/web application. Which is absurd.
More of my thoughts on web apps/desktop apps here: http://blogs.inspions.net/2006/09/26/why-desktop-apps-will-stay/
When steam engines first came along some of the early maritime applications involved hooking up a steam engine to a set of oars with levers and pulleys.
“Steam-driven oars” is the name I give to new technology used in old ways.
Create an “MSOffice with Web protocols” and that’s all you’ll have – steam driven oars.
Office 2.0, to be successful, will need to be a good WebWorkerOffice 1.0. Support WebWorkers, including their need to work offline seamlessly and you have what the world will need soon. That will be the office equivalent of the first steam turbine driven ocean liners.