As I posted yesterday IBM has donated Symphony to Apache to bolster the OpenOffice project. Kenvin Cavanaugh was quoted in a computer world article
and there was a derived conversation at Slashdot
that picked up on his comment that there really hasn't been any
innovation in the document space for the last 10 years. Some people
took exception to this comment and other not only completely agreed but
declare Personal productivity suites as being largely feature complete
dating back to the late 90s.
I happen to think that Kevin is largely right (and not
only because he is my boss) and I also think that those who agreed with
him and extended his argument to say that there won't be any more
innovation, are completely wrong. Here is a comment I added to the Slashdot article:
"While I agree with most posters that
by in large personal productivity suites have been largely feature
complete for over 10 years and that by and large there hasn't been a lot
of innovation in this space for a very long time, and I would even
posit that the domination of a monopoly has a lot to do with that, I
disagree that there is little potential for new innovation. Quite the
contrary. I think there is tremendous pent up innovative potential.
The confluence of the rise of mobile, the rise of cloud and co-editing
models, new collaborative and social business models and new analytic
technology suggests that there is enormous potential for innovation.
Traditional documents have focused on 2 layers, the content layer and
the presentation layer. The great potential for innovation and new
value creation is in the 3rd layer. The semantic layer.
need to become much smarter. They need to incorporate rich descriptive
semantics to aid navigation, discovery, trustworthiness analysis,
compliance, and deep Q&A technology. Smarter documents will be used
by business and governments in fields such as health care and marketing,
for risk or sentiment analysis. People and organizations who leverage
document content need to know its accuracy: who authored it? who has had
access to it? where it was developed and what the provenance of the
The document editor suite is very important for this
vision of new value creation. If documents can become smarter at
creation or edit time then much more semantic/ social information can
be embedded in documents and those documents can be leveraged by
discovery engines, GRC engines, content management stores, analytic and
deep QA engines etc... IBM is trying to create a critical mass to
attract the key investors in this new innovative space."