Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson

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Microsoft's Mini Wiki

I've been playing with Listas, Microsoft's online list-sharing application. Just out in public beta, Listas is perhaps best thought of as a wiki for the rest of us, focussed on editing and storing those lists we keep making and keep forgetting to carry around with us. Like a wiki, you can make a public list a community, with readers encouraged to edit entries or create new ones. Private lists remain for your eyes only, while others can be made read only.

There's an IE toolbar if you want to use Listas as a tool for storing research notes, or if you're co-browsing with co-workers...

Listas shows its SharePoint ancestry in its WYSIWYG outlining tool, and in its simple UI (though I'm, not sure about the beta's orange colour scheme). Sign on with a Windows LiveID, and you can start creating and sharing lists.

There's one big problem with Listas, and that's that it doesn't go far enough. Ray Ozzie has said that Microsoft's Live brand is about delivering software that works better when connected to online applications. Microsoft already has a desktop outliner in the shape of OneNote, so why doesn't it link the two applications? After all, I have my to do lists in OneNote, along with a selection of other lists that I might want to access when I'm on the road. Listas could be the ideal solution, a simple online outliner that synchronises key documents with OneNote.

It shouldn't be difficult to bring the two together. SharePoint is part of the Office family, and it's become an effective enterprise document management tool. If Microsoft can SharePoint's list management elements and turn them into consumer services,it should be able to do the same with its document management tools. I don't mind if it uses SkyDrive as a synchronisation hub, as long as it gives me the tools to blend my online and offline experiences the way I want...
Tags: listas, live, microsoft, office, onenote, web 2.0
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