While our attention is focused on the annual Autodesk Right of Spring - Autodesk 2012 product rollouts, Microsoft has released Office 365 into public beta. As one independent reviewer put it,
Microsoft Office 365 embarrasses Google
"Office 365 is to Google Apps as the XBOX 360 is to Pong."
Dem thar's fightin' words. They translate to good news for the rest of us.
At $6 per month per user Office 365 is truly scary in price point, functionality, and bottom line productivity. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Sharepoint, and Communicator (it's not called that anymore) are all there. Team collaboration works. Calendaring works. Storage and sharing works.
Office 365 doesn't appear to have real world performance and latency problems either.
We'll see how 365 scales up as the human race piles on. Recognize Microsoft has been at this now for a long time with Office Live, BPOS, and More. Go look around on the web for how they build datacenters for an education about integrated project practice in action. Terrifying. The Microsoft Chicago datacenter is a work of industrial tech art.
Office 365 fast and easy to set up, deploy, and even rollout out in pieces and stages from the Cloud to your "enterprise" and small business desktops. IT people have a whole new game to learn and play. Don't say I didn't warn you! You know I did.
Chriminy...Office 365 even runs on MacOS X, iPhone, and Windows Phone. Are you paying attention yet? Exchange will even cross the solar system and talk to my Droid.
Personally, I couldn't really live without my BPOS, Sharepoint and Office world. Been there for a long time (since the first Sharepoint and even the first BPOS betas) and BPOS is a sweet deal. I can't forget my work at the office. I don't loose sleep about backups and a host of other IT stuff that used be real world headaches and worries. These also ate my (and staff's) productive time. They were Gone in Sixty Seconds - well more like a week or month in the old days. You hopefully get the point.
Sssssh. Please, don't tell anyone Tench a Sharepoint SQL database geek. Microsoft will start calling again to ask me to go into heathcare and local government site apps business. It's important work I know. I personally like to build real things with real people not move paper around for a living. The data is so much More real and there's too much contractor left in me I guess.
Only problem in my Cloud world is my Civil 3D and other Autodesk work. Yes, I can cobble it into Sharepoint.
Come on Autodesk it is time to bite the bullet help us out.
We should at the very least by able to publish to the Cloud with a click. Yeah. PDF and DWF are a breeze, but I need to share my digital design data in a bunch of new useful ways with people in the office and in other offices to move this project along.
It would be More civil to do so.
Things are getting better...AutoCAD WS will now let me link via WEBDAV to my Sharepoint site and this month I even got a new Android app for AutoCAD WS...
This is a WATT ("What Are They Thinking") post so I gotta say it:
There are known Gas Giants in the Cloud Space. Autodesk sometimes appears to be a Red Spot maybe hoping it can become Uranus. I DO hope that an Autodesk Cloud works out. I REALLY do. How much Autodesk is part of and in some major Cloud apps is a matter of some conjecture and water cooler debate. I certainly don't fault them for trying More. More and better competition drives More innovation. That is a good thing.
I like and even understand Vault. I know AutoCAD is a database program that happens to draw pictures. I think Map is the dumbest name for one of the best things in the Autodesk world. I want to be able to query Civil 3D Features (like five years ago) and not make shortcuts. All that makes me crazy.
I hope and believe Vault Collaboration and AutoCAD WS will work for many people and organizations. I encourage all my clients to be there and participate. It takes experience to learn new processes.
Project data transparency is critical to reducing real world build costs. However, hiding from the integration to the much larger Office Cloud space won't make that all happen faster or better for Autodesk software users. I'm just saying...
More is Possible
Get on with it Autodesk and Get to Jump Speed....errrr or is it Cloud Speed
Yes, I do hate the word Cloud. It's far too nebulous a way to talk about a powerful thing that is changing our daily workplace into something totally new and More than a bit unexpected for some.
Time to put on my pants, stop embrassing myself, and get back to work...