Likewise, e-mail suffers when you have lots of people collaborating and different attachments that are going back and forth. And the creation of this idea that, whenever you want to work with somebody, you just create a Web site -- called a SharePoint Web site -- that's been very explosive in the last year as we've built that more into Office. Office, even if you have the latest, will make a hint that when you send an e-mailed attachment that, do you really just want to click here and we'll just make a Web site that everybody can go to and see what's going on there?
What happens very quickly when a company adopts that is you get all different templates for these shared Web sites for starting a project, for doing a meeting, for discussing what's going on with a customer. It's phenomenal to see how quickly that takes place. So, the next generation of collaboration really is about bottoms-up creation of Web sites where the IT department doesn't have to get involved. In fact, you can just have a few people administering 50,000 different sites and those sites get staged out and everything in a simple way.
In essense, the focus is on increase in business productivity due to integration of various tools. Sharepoint will continue to get a lot of attention. More importantly, he also gives an idea of how these tools evolve; primary focus being the templates for specific work. This is in essence a mechanism to create dynamic workflows.
The quote about being able to administer 50000 different sites is interesting: Why so many sites? Because each is typically context and activity specific. These activities will be active for only some time, and will disappear; the resulting website should just be archived over the time. So the mechanism of being able to quickly create context specific website is going to be very important.
The email integration is going to be the key factor that decides the success of this approach. Blogs specifically allow you to not bother about To's and CC's. In emailing this does take some amount of time. By blogging, you save this time, and put onus of information consumption to the group in general.
And another problem that Gates focuses is to be able to get notifications from changing websites, sharepoint sites and blogs. How nicely can the notifications be integrated and delivered?
In essence, there is no doubt that the information management area is now under microscope, and we will see a lot of good products to manage information overload.