March 25, 2010

Microsoft Office Talk: Twitter for business

by Darren Allan

Microsoft is busy researching a potential path into the micro-blogging universe with a project called OfficeTalk.

Still in the testing stages, OfficeTalk is quite similar to Yammer in that it’s micro-blogging not for the public Twitter style, but for a closed office environment.

Microsoft says that OfficeTalk has been deployed internally, and has seen over 10,000 visitors and hundreds of messages posted on a daily basis.

The company has now announced it will be making the project available to organisations who wish to be involved in testing.

While Microsoft itself admits that OfficeTalk looks very similar to existing micro-blogging services, and offers much the same functionality, the company says the key difference is that the business owns all the data since the OfficeTalk server is hosted within the organisation.

At this stage, however, Microsoft is stressing that OfficeTalk remains a piece of research to see how valuable people find social networking tools at work, and not an actual product.

In other words, it’s all OfficeTalk and no OfficeTrousers currently, although we wouldn’t bet against it eventually seeing the light of day.

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