Steve Ballmers 2000 Statement on SharePoint Usage as Microsoft CEO
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SharePoint Online
Sep 26, 2023 11:49 AM

Steve Ballmers 2000 Statement on SharePoint Usage as Microsoft CEO

by HubSite 365 about Jukka Niiranen [MVP]

Power Platform Advisor at Forward Forever. Microsoft MVP, Business Applications

Pro UserSharePoint OnlineM365 Hot News

Explore SharePoints journey in the MS ecosystem, its role in Microsofts success and its relevance in todays digital collaboration.

Reflecting on SharePoint's Journey

Recalling 2000 when the then-CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, initially dismissed SharePoint as unnecessary, the author considers SharePoint's growth and relevance over the years. Interestingly, Bill Gates initially shared Ballmer's sentiment, finding SharePoint redundant as another place to store files.

Even though SharePoint wasn't initially successful in adoption rates, it evolved to be a vital component of Microsoft's broader product portfolio. Surprisingly, SharePoint was barely utilized by information workers, yet excelled in the commercial market primarily through Microsoft's bundling strategy.

Despite the initial dislike, Ballmer and Gates recognized SharePoint's potential and strategized its implementation cleverly in Microsoft Ecosystem. The product was initially bought by CIOs and praised by tech analysts.

SharePoint's foundational technology, developed over two decades ago as SharePoint Team Services (STS) and SharePoint Portal Server (SPS), is still integral to present day Microsoft 365’s framework. It laid the groundwork for a massive consulting business, creating opportunities for partners specializing in customization.

However, the author notes that SharePoint's massive market doesn't necessarily bring joy from a product management perspective. The considerable influence of SharePoint on the digital-collaboration capabilities was bittersweet due to the initial adoption struggles.

Divergent Success Trajectories

The author brings attention towards other Microsoft products that underwent a different success route. Particularly, MS CRM 1.0, launched two decades ago, accorded as a relatively insignificant product in terms of Microsoft’s earnings.

This product followed a different trajectory, evolving gradually into the foundation of PowerPlatform, a monthly go-to for 7+ million active low-code developers. Ironically, the most popular data source for the low-code applications developed by these users is SharePoint indeed.

In conclusion, the post brings Microsoft's strategic insight to the fore, focusing on the trajectory of SharePoint and other products like MS CRM 1.0, shaping the Microsoft ecosystem into its current expansive nature.

Read the full article No one anywhere is using SharePoint - Steve Ballmer, as CEO 2000 at Microsoft

SharePoint Online - Steve Ballmers 2000 Statement on SharePoint Usage as Microsoft CEO

Learn about No one anywhere is using SharePoint - Steve Ballmer, as CEO 2000 at Microsoft

The above blog post provides a comprehensive snapshot of the history and evolution of SharePoint, a digital collaboration tool birthed from the Microsoft ecosystem. With varying perspectives emerging from notable figures in tech such as Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates, the blog delves into the many layers associated with SharePoint’s journey.

A key point to note from the post is the initial skepticism and controversy associated with the platform, expressed most notably by Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's then CEO. Despite SharePoint’s lack of popularity, its crucial role within the Microsoft product portfolio was acknowledged. Another important player in the narrative, former director of the Windows division, Steven Sinofsky, gives substantial insights into the SharePoint tale through his written work.

By reflecting on SharePoint's early days, the post offers a nuanced view of how adoption failures do not necessarily equate with business failures. Instead, the sum of different factors, including the product's value, its distribution, and the ecosystem surrounding it, makes it a success. This reflection on SharePoint's journey serves as a timeless lesson relevant to software enterprises.

Another intriguing aspect of the story is the dichotomy between the product's widespread strategic use by enterprises and the underwhelming utilization by everyday information workers. While the adoption of SharePoint by the latter was considered a setback, it was not deemed a failure. Rather, the pragmatic approach of evaluating the broad-based value contributed by SharePoint won out.

Fascinatingly the blog post also underlines the technological groundwork laid by SharePoint. This foundation notably continues to be a significant part of the current Microsoft 365 solution offerings. The post also touches upon the massive business generated for partners through SharePoint customizations.

Finally, the blog post underscores the legacy of SharePoint, especially in light of substantial evolution within Microsoft's product hierarchy. Interestingly, SharePoint has emerged as a superior data source for low-code apps developed by over seven million active monthly developers.

Zoning in on the future, the user engagement trends and development of future Microsoft products remain to be seen, as the tech giant's solutions continue to evolve. Given its significant journey so far, it can be anticipated that SharePoint will remain a crucial part of the conversation.

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