DigitalDomain: "Do you remember spell checkers and gramma checkers and on and on of little add-ins and plug-ins? Where are they? Inside Office the Black Hole of productivity software."
If you've been following Random Bytes for a while, you already know where I'm going with this particular rant: Microsoft Office should support Blogware.
Lee makes "Office the Black Hole of productivity software" sound like a bad place for blogging to end up. I think its a great place to end up if its handled the right way.
Of course, there's only a slim chance that it will be. Microsoft will screw this up because they'll shoot for the wrong sort of lockin. I can't really blame them for being short-sighted. They've got a lot of products that could benefit from being the default destination for weblog bound content. Really, this is about building products for your shareholders. This could be called Microsoftlock.
Doesn't make it a smart move for them though. Its always better to create the kind of lockin that you get from keeping your customers so damn happy with your products that they never *want* to leave. Building products for your customers. This should be called AppleLock.
If Microsoft built Office for their *customers* instead of their shareholders, they could probably wrap up online publishing in a *big* way. They would simply need to accept that they are great at writing publishing tools and crappy at writing server tools - at least server tools that give people warm fuzzies like MovableType and Flickr do. No one wants to use Sharepoint as the destination for their blog content - they want to use Blogware or Livejournal or Audioblog et al. And they don't want to use the crappy online weblog editors that I'm using to write this. We want feature rich content publishing MACHINES like Microsoft Word, Apple's Garageband or even Adobe's Premier. I'm currently typing this post into Blogware using a tiny little window, no spell-checker and the very strong chance that I'm going to click the wrong button and accidentally lose my post before I save it. This isn't a problem with Blogware, this is a problem with The Browser.
Wouldn't it be cool if you didn't have to use The Browser to post stuff to your weblog? Wouldn't it be better if your existing applications just talked to Blogware?
I'm very much looking forward to seeing blog support in the Office Productivity Black Hole (or whatever Lee calls it!). I just hope Microsoft does the right thing for once.
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