KN was very intriguing. I'll look forward to watching it evolve. I'll also listen carefully next week to what Microsoft has to say at the Enterprise 2.0 conference during the keynote and during the track sessions I am moderating for the Evolving Enterprise Collaboration Platforms track. The lead-off question for IBM and Microsoft during the panel session will be "What does Enterprise 2.0 mean to IBM and Microsoft?".
It will be interesting to see how Microsoft is able to respond to organizations interested in social software ("Enterprise 2.0") given the delay in KN. In MOSS 2007, I find that the blog support is not all that great, the wiki support does not seem better than leading wiki-specific vendors, there is no tag/social bookmark support directly (there is a third-party add-on), and no XML syndication feed server. There is also not all that much in the way of social networking support (yes, profiles and some "social distance" connectivity capabilities through the search component but not a complete environment when compared to what other vendors can enable).
The ironic aspect in all this is that the external community folks at Microsoft are doing some very innovative things (i.e., Tagspace) but its unclear how their experience and technology might transfer over.
So that leaves the door open for other vendors. IBM, with its Lotus Connections product, comes to mind. Even BEA (if they can execute and persuade people to consider BEA as a social software player). Cisco could make a run (perhaps with an acquisition or close partnership with social software vendors blended into its WebEx Connect platform). And there are numerous smaller vendors that have the opportunity to gain some market attention (e.g,, Traction Software, Atlassian, Jive Software, KnowNow and Attensa). The opportunities grow if smaller vendors can demonstrate integration that is complimentary to MOSS 2007 (NewsGator comes to mind as well as Socialtext in that regard).
As a result the next generation of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) will reap the benefits. So if you are a KN fan rest assured that your passion for Social Networking has had an impact on future releases of MOSS. It has been a pleasure and honor to work with and for you on this Technical Preview and we look forward to your continued support in the next release of the Microsoft Office System. To check on the progress of the future of MOSS, visit our SharePoint webpage http://www.microsoft.com/sharepoint/default.mspx.