Yesterday, I was thinking about social computing and how many new apps seem to pop up each week. Today, an article happened to come out that focuses on this same thing: Is SharePoint Set To Become The De Facto Enterprise Social Media Platform--it continues along the vein of previous articles such as Will Microsoft Become Facebook for the Enterprise?
One question raised by the article is whether Microsoft's release schedule precludes SharePoint from being in touch with the current state of social computing. People who argue that this is true will be quick to point out that it has been 2.5 years since the last release and SharePoint 2010 isn't out in Beta yet. Also, while the article contends that "Enterprises don't just jump on the latest social media fade [sic],"... people do. So even if there is no corporate policy about Twitter or Facebook, people will be using them and most likely they'll be using them for business purposes (e.g., product evangelism, business networking, etc.).
However, what the article doesn't seem to ask is: what's the difference between the release dilemma that SharePoint faces and the same considerations for Microsoft Office? If a feature is considered for implementation during a two-year release cycle for Office, that feature had better be compelling enough that it's going to be relevant for longer than the next release cycle. This is no different for social computing functionality that the SharePoint Program Managers have to consider for one of their releases.
In the end, it isn't about how fast SharePoint can add the latest and greatest functionality, it's about how well they'll address the long-term needs of the enterprise. At Metalogix, we migrate customers to SharePoint, so we're well aware of how long it takes some companies to move to the latest platforms--they're not on a 2.5 year release schedule, they go at their own pace.