So Sunday NYT had an article on Popfly. Generally a positive article. However what stuck me was the comment by Tim O'Reilly. An excerpt from the article: “Popfly shows me that Microsoft still thinks this is all about software, rather than about accumulating data via network effects, which to me is the core of Web 2.0,” said Tim O’Reilly, the founder and chief executive of O’Reilly Media, a print and online publisher. “They are using Popfly to push Silverlight, rather than really trying to get into the mashup game.”
Notwithstanding the obvious diss against software which I will punt on, I think that Tim has it wrong with respect to the network effect of data. Of course there is network effect of data, but not all data is amenable to be network effect-able out in the great internet cloud. A huge amount of information is locked within enterprise coffers. It will never make it to the big cloud to be networked. So the challenges that Microsoft and us in IBM are trying to solve is how do we create the network effect within an enterprise. And we have to do it through software and through inside the firewall SaaS models.