The open source world is about to welcome a competitor to SharePoint from Microsoft. In 2007, O3Spaces from the Netherlands will release its open source version of its integrated collaboration and document management application for workgroups and small businesses that use OpenOffice.org or its commercial sibling StarOffice. It is already available in its professional version, you can take a look at this quick tour to figure it out, and read a Sharepoint feature comparison here.
It is important as SharePoint is central to Microsoft Office 2007 launch. People Ready is all about collaboration and probably the most compelling reason to upgrade your office suite software. Web 2.0 drives this collaboration attitude, motivating all individuals to do it easily over the network and from very different devices, including our cell phones.
Let’s not forget that desktop productivity software is also making its early steps in the Software as a Service (Saas) world. Just keep in mind what Google is doing with Writely and its online spreadsheet service, offering native web collaboration, all for free!
2007 will definitely be a very interesting time for the office suite market and probably give us some indications on whether customers are keen to stay only with the old licensing model or move partly to the open source model or the Saas one.