Yesterday I went to a vendor presentation on sharepoint, which was more illuminating than I thought it would be, as I finally got what sharepoint was about.
Rather than simply providing a project documentation sharing tool it actually allows the building of tailored solutions to group together documents and data sources in a meaningful form.
Now you can do that with other products, and in fact we can get about 80-85% of this functionality using Sakai for project administration.
The thing about sharepoint is that it looks slicker, because of its integration into the microsoft software ecology, like the way it can pull data out of docx documents as metadata.
Looks good, and if you're already doing microsoft why wouldn't you. (I still doubt how it would play in a multiplatform environment)
The other nice thing is the workspace concept. You can get a taste of this with the Office live workspace service. Put your documents relating to a project together, build a little group, and off you go, co-operative working. The nice thing about the workspace concept is that no one needs to know where the data's located - you are abstracted from physical location and unc names, and work in a virtualised environment.
And this is an important metaphor - as computing moves off to the clouds the driver is the need for collaboration and the need to make collaboration simple. Hence no 63 character path names, instead group material together in a thematic way, so we all know where the documents relating to byzantine pottery distributions is located.
Equally it could be tremendously powerful for organising individual research. Collect the supporting documents, the research notes, the notes of meetings together and the drafts of papers. Or a major overseas trip, or ...
Need a projectette to experiment with it for real ....