In his latest Executive email Thursday BillG set out Microsoft's vision for the Information Worker space. If you want a broad idea of the direction that the Microsoft Office product set is likely to take in the future then here it is. These were the key items Gates called out:
- Personal Productivity
- Pattern recognition and adaptive filtering
- Integrated communication
- Team Collaboration
- Organizing Supply Chains
- Business Intelligence
Some of these will be no great surprise. You can see the strategy around integrated communication, presence and team collaboration starting to take shape with Office Communicator, Live Meeting and Live Communications Server. More interesting will be to see what emerges in the Workflow, Business Intelligence and Supply Chains categories. Automating supply chains in particular is such an obvious candidate for a software solution. As someone who has run their own business I know first hand what a pain it is matching invoices against purchase orders, making sure everything is recorded properly and payments made on time. I wonder if Office can make a real difference here?