Web 2.0: Microsoft SharePoint or NOT

At the fourth annual Web 2.0 Summit Microsoft announced new (or updated) partners for SharePoint its server software enabling businesses to collaborate and communicate. What’s interesting and important for your businesses is that Microsoft continues to show and push the case that its traditional software platform can be used, quite effectively, for powering online applications.
Case in point is NewsGator, which provides services to help individuals and businesses produce and manage their RSS feeds.
This clearly Web 2.0 focused, announced NewsGator Social Sites, a collection of site templates, profiles, Web parts and middleware that will enhance the social computing capabilities of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.

Although the decision to NOT use Microsoft Office, while instead using Google Docs, a variant of Open Office, or Word Perfect might be a bit more difficult to consider, the decision to use SharePoint or an alternative platform for your collaboration and Web 2.0 needs is different and easier.
There are dozens and dozens of excellent tools, some in beta and free right now, that you can use to enhance your web site and turn it into a Web 2.0 platform. To use many of these tools you have to display advertising on your site, unless you pay a fee.
The bottom line, however, is that you need to decide if you go with a Microsoft based solution – Microsoft SharePoint or use another solution.
The advantage of using Microsoft is that it’s from Microsoft – a mature company with a huge network of partners. IBM has collaboration services to consider – another mature company. Another option is to string together a range of what could be considered as “best of breed” solutions.
For example – BrightCove for your video platform and NewsGator for RSS distribution.