back to article Thanks a lot, Facebook: Microsoft turns Office 365 into social network

If you're avoiding friending your manager on Facebook or Twitter, the net is tightening: Microsoft has stitched new social network-like features into all of its productivity products. In a keynote speech today at the company's Sharepoint conference, Microsoft corporate vice-president Jeff Teper ushered in "the transformation …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh hell no!

    It's bad enough Marketing trying to push us all to use Yammer.

  2. Herby Silver badge

    Sounds like an excuse...

    To goof off and not get any "work" done with the "productivity application".

    After all isn't that what Facebook is already?

  3. Fill

    Who wants this?

    This is another example of a feature/product I can't imagine even MS management using or wanting. Of all the top technology companies, Microsoft is the only one where it is hard to believe they use or at least like their own products. Does Ballmer like playing XBox with ten year olds cursing at him in his headset? Does he have a Windows Phone? A Zune? Does he actually like the interface of Windows 8? Does he prefer Bing? It is a bit of a head scratcher how/why they keep pushing such half baked features and products. They've taken their core business, Windows and Office, and are morphing them into things that people don't want to use any more.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Who wants this?

    Most large companies are already using this sort of stuff via Yammer and Sharepoint!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Who wants this?

    Most large companies HAVE Yammer and Sharepoint. Where they are both studiously avoided by everybody except the people responsible for installing them in the first place.

    Despite the weekly reminder emails and begging for us to post something, our company intranet is a wasteland that makes Google+ look positively vibrant.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Who wants this?

    Every large corp. I have worked at (a fair number) makes very extensive use of SharePoint, and Yammer more recently seems to be everywhere too. I think your company is a rare exception, and probably has crap management and a crap communications department if your Intranet is unused. Or maybe you are too menial a grade to get access to where it all happens?

    What's Google+ btw - never heard of it. Are they trying to get into the SharePoint market? (good luck with that!)

  7. MIc

    Re: Who wants this?


    And you have data to back this up?

  8. MIc

    Re: Who wants this?

    [dup] deleted

  9. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Re: Who wants this?

    makes very extensive use of SharePoint

    Yep. Because everyone needs a roach motel for word documents.

    And now - Socialization.


  10. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Re: Every large corp. I have worked at (a fair number) makes very extensive use of SharePoint

    So you're saying that, since 2001, you have worked at a "fair number" of very large corporations ?

    That either means that your notion of a "fair number" is rather limited, or your CV is creatively describing good reasons for several abrupt departures that are commonly described as "getting fired".

    And if you've had that many hasty exits in the past 14 years, then you are not well-placed for criticising other people's companies.

    In truth though, your attitude is much more of a troll than anything else. So I doubt very much that you have ever set foot in a very large corporation. Unless it's to do the cleaning.

  11. Sebastian A

    I only need to know one thing...

    Where's the option to disable it?

    There is one, right?


  12. Fill

    Re: I only need to know one thing...

    The thing is, this is exactly the sort of thing a clueless middle manager would force you to use because it's the 'latest thing'.

  13. silent_count

    The 'improved' Office 'features' which nobody wants to compliment the 'improved' Windows 'features' which nobody wanted.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Grammar nazi FTW

    I'm sure you meant to say "complement"...

  15. Pascal

    Re: Grammar nazi FTW

    > I'm sure you meant to say "complement"...

    hopefully he really meant "compliment", i.e. the only way anything "social" will happen on this new disaster?

  16. solo


    The digital divide. I don't see a friend who is not in an IT company and loves to talk about his colleagues (apart from 2-3 friends in the same company).

    Colleagues are so boring..why'd we socialize with them? I thought Metro meant more private life.

  17. Grade%

    Clique-alizer 1.0

    Oooh, look who's hanging with what's their face. Tsk, see those two? Who couldn't tell that was coming?

    This is going to be GREAT!!

  18. Arctic fox

    Unfortunately although we may not like it.....

    .......there are a lot out there who do, God help us all. Whether it's that ignoramus of a marketing manager or the retail market populated by those whose response to RTFM is to grizzle and whine "why doesn't it just work?" - it is big business with a lot of the folding riding on it. I for one am not looking forward to this brave new world.

  19. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Not to worry, this is going to be another bust on the (increasingly large) list of Microsoft failures.

    Work is to do work, not to pitter-patter around "social" tools. The only ones who think this is good are the people who earn money doing Powerpoint charts. They will be happy with it, for sure.

    The rest of the grunts don't have time for social tools. They have a mountain of things to actually get done before the end of the day and if that doesn't happen, no amount of "social tooling" will avoid getting their ass fired.

    So for once this is a Microsoft product that will clearly define its users : it will be the ones who consider themselves "deciders" and spend their time crowing about how good they are at it.

    The rest of us will just suffer with Office in our dank cubicles and be grateful we get a check at the end of the month instead of a pink slip.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Social Cloud Analytics Mobile

    Let the acronym speak for itself.

  21. Charles Manning

    Trending graphs

    I was going to make a joke about trending graphs, but MS beat me to it!

    MS have really struggled with their collaborative work stuff forever:

    Sharepoint: Not even as good as using drop box or ftp.

    Visual Source Safe. Worst damn source control system ever.

    Like a lot of these "add X to Y make it shiny" projects, this is icing a turd again. The bling only adds value if the underpinnings are solid, otherwise they will just grate. This is all going to suck badly unless they've done the hard bit - fix the underlying document sharing technology..

  22. Ian 7

    Re: Trending graphs

    Source Safe? Blimey, that hasn't been updated since 2005... let the past go, dude!

    But Sharepoint... yep, with you on that one!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Trending graphs

    I'm hardly a fan of SharePoint, but surely a better comparison would be between OneDrive and Dropbox?

    Apropos SharePoint, the latest CUs and SPs are just plain horrible. They've made an overly horrible product damn-near unusable, and they don't even seem to care at all. Consumers running away in droves is one thing, but pissing on your corporate clients is something altogether different.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Trending graphs

    Strange how Microsoft market share and revenue in these segments keeps growing then...

  25. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    Re: Trending graphs

    That's because they sell to managers, not users.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: icing a turd

    When turds ice up at least they don't go splat when thrown...

  27. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Re: icing a turd

    pissing on your corporate clients is something altogether different.

    It's just another golden shower.

  28. Denarius Silver badge

    has an upside

    handwritten documents are beginning to look more concise, private and timesaving, not to mention private. I think I will hunt up working typewriters for the office. Or become a hermit. This M$ change sounds like a nightmare for security in large multi-site Big Corp. Lets hope OpenOffice/LibreOffice do not copy this "feature"

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: has an upside

    "Lets hope OpenOffice/LibreOffice do not copy this "feature""

    Unlikely seeing as it's clearly a business / enterprise feature set. Those open source cut down office products are more suited for home users.

  30. earl grey Silver badge

    Re: has an upside

    Feature? I think you meant Failure.

  31. John Tserkezis

    I knew I was avoiding Office 365 for a good reason.

    "Lets hope OpenOffice/LibreOffice do not copy this "feature""

    Holy crap, if this happens, I'm screwed. I've occasionally pushed some heavy scripting into some of their products, and stuffed if I'm going to re-write all that again.

  32. Anonymous Bullard
    Thumb Up

    Don't worry, it will fork if it does.

    That's the beauty of OSS.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Forked if you do, forked if you don't... wonderful idea, let's halve the number of users by having two incompatible, barely supported pieces of software...

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You must enjoy being dictated to.

  35. king of foo

    NO. JUST NO.

    That is all

  36. streeeeetch

    Productivity... or not

    This reminds me of George Bush saying "The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur" because Microsoft obviously don't know what productivity means.

    No-one likes change to their well practiced office routine but this is a good case for at least trying Libre/ Open Office. Unless you do really serious spreadsheet or *any* database work, you might be pleasantly suprised. What have you got to lose - it's free.

  37. mitch 2

    Re: Productivity... or not

    Bush said many daft things but not that:

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Productivity... or not

    It really isn't...worth it - or free (unless your time is of no value)

  39. cambsukguy

    Re: Productivity... or not

    Used OO, on Unbuntu 12 a year ago or so. One day I couldn't even open a simple Word doc sent from within the same org. not just failed to open but crashed the app each and every time.

    There is a reason large orgs don't use free software, it is too expensive.

  40. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    Re: Productivity... or not

    Yes, I have random anecdotes about long-obsolete versions of software, too.

    What's your point ?

  41. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Re: It really isn't...worth it - or free (unless your time is of no value)

    Yes it is free and worth it.

    Go get your check already, we can see the logo now.

  42. JLV Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Productivity... or not

    >French ... don't have a word for entrepreneur

    Hmmm, isn't that a French word in the first place?

    This thing looks about as draft as it gets. Why confuse work with social-butterflying again?

  43. whoseyourdaddy


    Sounds like something that just can't quite kill the frequent and productivity-murdering meeting with my codorkers (who need an audience to talk to or their heads will implode.)

    I'll stick with Atlassian Confluence, thank you very much.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Raise a glass!

    Another thing to add to the long, triumphant list of concepts Microsoft has spectacularly failed to grasp.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm quite interested in the idea

    Being able to share work with managers and all those above them, finding out what people below you have just come up with, seeing what elements of your work other departments are most interested in.

    I absolutely hate the 'social' side of these things, but this is just data: who, what, when and where. About time.

    Now where's my database FS?

  46. TheTrouser

    I don't remember asking for something like this?

    Has anyone?


  47. launcap Silver badge

    Marvin mode

    <Sounds ghastly>

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Marvin mode

    "It is, absolutely ghastly!"

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    From Article: Those beliefs? "Cloud, social, mobile, big data,"

    Maybe we could persuade them to replace all that crud with 'Producing documents and spreadsheets using a simple intuitive interface that encourages productivity and that people actually want"

    otherwise, sod off

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My last company

    They acquired a new general manager from the US who told everybody that communications were terribly important and everybody must stay completely on message. Any possible postings to social networks which mentioned the company in any way at all must first be approved by him, personally. Any customer communication must go through him except for support, which must not make any comment on the company beyond the immediate support issue, yada yada.

    Microsoft has failed to account for the fact that many managers are complete control freaks. Paradoxically, this "enhanced co-operation" is likely to make for even more of a bunker mentality among those who have to work for them.


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