In a weblog posting called the Future of Lock-In, Dave Rosenberg and Matt Asay discuss the new nature of lock-in at Microsoft. Lockin at Microsoft in the past has been the often proprietary couplings between file formats and popular apps – Office, Visio, Outlook, even InfoPath with its relatively open XML data exchange but then closed Infopath forms (no W3C XForms here please). Now Microsoft in Server 2003, Vista, SQL Server 2005 and a host of other server apps is making those links more pervasive and proprietary between Server and desktop, desktop Smart Clients and various Office Apps, SQL Server and Exchange and SharePoint, etc.
Dave and Matt cite the lock-in case of Sharepoint Server – and at that same time solve a mystery for me. Covering the BI Scene for CMP I had written about the sudden shift of free give-away software from SQL Server 2005 to SharePoint like new BI GUI display components similar to Crystals Excelsius and BAM monitoring capabilities in the flavor of Microstrategy. But I could not understand why these were not in the complete BI Stack Giveaway that is part of SQL Server 2005; but were instead made a part of SharePoint – contrary to rumors. Now, bink – bonk – clunk on my head – the truly pervasive nature of the new Microsoft lock-in finally goes off in my brain. Good article Dave and Matt and just in time as this ComputerWorld article is on track about the nature of Microsoft Software Assurance these days.