Yesterday and today The most obvious example is Microsoft Office 2010, condemned to repeat its success here even though you're probably searching for the commenting button already to make the perfectly good claim that the digits "2010" don't belong on a list for 2011. Fair enough, but we decided the Web apps from Google and others just weren't ready to lead the parade. One editor said he wanted to assume that Office's "days were numbered," but then he took one look at Office's record sales figures (which bear out the results of Serdar Yegulalp's office suite comparison) and changed his mind. While the Web apps are undeniably cool and easy to administer, all of us had to admit there was just something zippier and truly empowering about a native app you install on your computer. We're not arguing for becoming grid-free survivalists, just realists about the limits of the cloud.
Microsoft has also been enhancing other tools with a grip on the enterprise. Lync turns the PC into a communications center, usurping some of the responsibilities of that increasingly idle phone that sits next to it on your desk. The smooth videoconferencing, now more flexible and easier to install in your office, is only a minor piece of the promise. The Windows Small Business Server stack is also a winner here for all of the little enhancements that make it easier for small offices to start a full-service network and provide remote access through a Web interface. Microsoft shops can continue to sail into the future with a feature-rich environment that's as current as can be found.