Microsoft is testing a microblogging platform called OfficeTalk which is presumed to appeal to the business and enterprise world. The tests and the project hosting are being managed at Office Labs which is Microsoft’s innovation lab.
The current technology of ADO.NET offered by Microsoft is capable of providing this service on-premise. This would mean that the microblogging server, clients and all processing are managed locally on the network. The data being served over the network is locally available and the organization has total control over it.
On this test launch, the OfficeTalk project page at OfficeLabs says,
OfficeTalk is a concept test to explore the value of microblogging in the enterprise. OfficeTalk is deployed internally at Microsoft and has seen over 10,000 visitors and hundreds of messages posted daily. We’re now making OfficeTalk available to a few customers in a small pilot test.
The features on offer are exactly what you can expect from a microblogging service. There is a character limit of 140, users have profiles and post messages which are visible by their friends, to read someone’s messages, you can follow them and search for people you want to follow. The subsequent messages appear as threaded comments and there is an in-built URL shortener.
The only question here is that why is Microsoft offering this as a strictly on-premise service and not as a cloud service? Microsoft should clearly see that the service has a huge potential if put to the cloud and offering it as an on-premise service is harnessing only half of that power. Then again, this is just a testing phase. We expect to see OfficeTalk soon as a cloud based SaaS.