I was reading this article last week and it reminded me of a conversation I had with a developer friend of mine back when SharePoint 2007 came out. I was telling him that because of the ability to integrate so closely with Office SharePoint would end up dominating the market for collaboration tools.
SharePoint is not the only collaboration tool available and some would say it is not the best tool either. Google Wave, BaseCamp, Salesforce.com and others offer similar capabilities in some areas. As Chip Dizard of Absolute Presence points out Wave does not work well with IE but does integrate nicely with Google’s other online tools (Docs, Calendar, etc.). For open source fans and Microsoft haters there are several good options but it is hard to deny the convenience of SharePoint.
Most large organizations are already using Microsoft Office products for email and word processing so the fact that SharePoint works seamlessly with these applications makes it an obvious choice when it comes time to collaborate and share information. Even SharePoint 2003 had some integration with the Office products but Microsoft has taken things even further in SharePoint 2010. With such a fully integrated solution that most users will have to use as part of their work competitors like Google will have a tough time selling to businesses and large organizations.
For smaller organizations that don’t have the resources or the need for all of SharePoint’s features may Google Wave and other tools very useful. Larger organizations who require information security, full control and data backups will find SharePoint quite capable. This article has more information on how the SharePoint team has worked to build SharePoint into its own platform