Infoworld has published a very good review of the portal market, and how it has evolved away from the late '90s view of portal as super-aggregator to something more useful for managing business interactions and processes....

And how does the world's largest software company fit into the portal picture? While most agree that the latest version of Microsoft's SharePoint Portal Server is a good product, the company is clearly ambivalent about enterprise portals. And no wonder, Phifer says. "If the Webtop became a reality, Microsoft has the most to lose because right now Microsoft owns the eyeballs of corporate Earth," he says. "And if I suddenly switch over to a Web browser with a portal being displayed, my eyeballs are focusing on the portal and not on the Microsoft desktop."  As a countermeasure, predicts Phifer, Microsoft will eventually launch a desktop portal application that will integrate enterprise portal functionality into Windows. Meanwhile, other portal servers continue to bulk up on features, particularly search, content management, identity management, and collaboration (including instant messaging). The latest version of WebSphere Portal Server even bundles browser versions of Lotus applications, including Notes, a text editor, and a spreadsheet.
Link: Infoworld: The New Enterprise Portal >

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