I alluded to this the other day, but the following from Jupiter Research sums up MSFTÂ’s marketing positioning strategy for the new Office System, which will also include Longhorn and I suspect enterprise search.
Basically, they are not selling features or services, but “solutions” to very specific business processes.
“Microsoft is putting less emphasis on individual applications and product features and more emphasis on what people can do with Office System. The strategy also synchs with other products, such as development of Windows Longhorn. Earlier, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates discussed “scenarios” the company is using to develop Longhorn. One scenario might be a teenager interested in listening to music. Microsoft has taken a similar approach to Office System, looking at information scenarios Office users confront daily.”
“The distinction between features and scenarios seems subtle, but is actually more complex. The scenario focus means that Microsoft is shifting away from adding new features simply for the sake of adding new features to looking more seriously at how people use or would want to use the products.”