• Microsoft and Accessibility: SharePoint Draws the Crowd

    Microsoft Draws the Crowd – and the Key Players
    Back in the early phases of the computer, Microsoft was called out for copying Apple. After all, Microsoft was essentially the same system as the Apple variety. Both were, by today's standards, essentially scrap-worthy – requiring immense amounts of time to complete even the most basic functions. And both were, by any standards, essentially equal. Yet Microsoft quickly began selling more products than Apple. Why?

    Simply put, Microsoft had an "open" policy. While they weren't an open source platform by any means, they were open enough that software developers could use the basic framework to produce useful extras. Even hardware stopped being proprietary very quickly, allowing for greater flexibility and a competition between different developers in the marketplace. Meanwhile, most Apple users had to rely on Apple itself to provide software and hardware components.

    Image courtesy of the Daily iPhone Blog
    It's easy to argue about whether or not competition and a mass of ideas is actually a good thing. On the bright side, it's easier to find the sort of solution you're looking for. On the down side, however, it's also easy for those who lack expertise to find a solution that doesn't work well; the process to find the appropriate answer, even if it's "more" appropriate, becomes far more difficult. There's little doubt, though, that the mass of ideas bred innovation and flexibility, and led to market dominance for the Windows platform.

    Microsoft has kept this same concept very much in mind with other products, including Microsoft SharePoint. The SharePoint platform, while originally tricky, has quickly opened itself up to the huge crowd of developers. The custom web parts system is one of the major locations where this is seen, but you can also see a huge array of utilities from other software groups. While some of these "add-ons" are costly, others are free, allowing you to integrate a variety of additional features into your SharePoint without excessive effort.

    Of course, the same downfall that often happens with an open mass of ideas and competitors reoccurs here: It requires greater study and expertise to know which solutions will legitimately address your company issues. And, with the beautiful world of persuasive marketing, you can't generally turn to the developers of the software to give you the right answer. If you need a partner in deciphering these third party programs, consider SharePoint Engine. Our well-versed experts have worked with SharePoint, as well as the various attachments to it, since Microsoft made the product – and we've worked with similar ECM products for even longer.

    Ready to get started? Not sure whether you can put our services to good use? Contact us today to get a free consultation, and we'll get you the information you need.

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