Microsoft are finally talking about "People Ready" software.

So I saw the warm and cuddly 'let's all get out of bed and go to work for Microsoft' advert last night on TV. "Your most important asset walks through the front door every morning", yeah we know. We've been saying that for the last 15 years. Lotus and now IBM, having been banging this drum for a while now. So it made me wonder as I watched the head ape (Steve Balmer) tell us that;

We think this is a pretty unique vision. We don't think it is shared necessarily broadly by folks who serve business information technology needs, but this people-ready vision, or this people-ready approach, this people-ready drive is really a natural extension of our founding vision of empowering people through software. And so, for us, we think it's quite a natural thing to embrace, and we do think it is front and center to where people are going to get the next wave of improvement in business operations.

What was the script writer thinking? Where have they been for the last 15 years. Working for Lotus/IBM? Surely Microsoft can't really be claiming that this is all new and their idea.

So I'm still watching this 1 hour, 2 minutes and 58 seconds "message from Steve Balmer" about "People Ready Software" and about 30 minutes in they do a demo of stuff that you lucky Microsoft customers can "expect to see" (aka, might slip like everything else they create) in the next 12 months (make that 18 to be on the safe side).

So this guy is demoing how he as a sales manager (one of the 110 personas Microsoft use to develop software, and he does slick job of showing that you can delete a calendar entry from your everyday phone just using your voice.
Then he goes on to show a Windows mobile device and that they can show peoples online state. Been there, done that (BTDT) Lotus Sametime
Next that you can see online status right here in your outlook client. BTDT Lotus Notes 6.x and Lotus Sametime
And that you can invite everyone on a single mail to an instant messaging session. BTDT Lotus Notes 6.x and Lotus Sametime
Oh and you can search for stuff. Well yeah we can all do that.
Ah yes, but does it show the results and people with those skills and expertise too? YEP, BTDT. Lotus Discovery Server (Now WebSphere Information Integrator OmniFind Edition )
So then we take the sales proposal and work on it with a partner outside the company. BTDT, Lotus QuickPlace
Once the proposal is finished we put it into a workflow. BTDT, Lotus Workflow , Lotus QuickPlace , Lotus Notes & Workplace Managed Client (Activity Explorer)

And you lucky Microsoft customers are still waiting for all this "People Ready" stuff to hit your desktop. Hmmmm.

Then they got Tommy Hilfiger to stand up and say that this is all great and that new ideas can drive companies forward. We hear you Tommy, shame you didn't listen to us when we have said this stuff in the past. I got bored at this point and couldn't watch anymore.

p.s. this stuff exists today and you don't have to get Win 2003 servers or the latest version of Sharepoint and MS SQL and Exchange and outlook client and Windows Vista and roll it out across your enterprise to make this stuff work.