Microsoft Office TownSquare

News about TownSquare is making its way across the Internet. I’m not surprised that Chris Pratley has a hand in this venture either. He was the original creative force behind OneNote, a tool that quickly found its way into my “appbox” as a mainstream application/tool.

As Chris recalls, apparently this caught the attention of Jeff Raikes, which led to the following:

Jeff had a two-part mission for me that was simple to say and hard to do. Basically he said, “help the division try more ideas”, and “explain to the world and the company what our long term vision is for productivity”.

Since moving over to be the GM of Office Labs, Chris & Co. have been busy working on what some have called “SharePoint + Facebook.” Since I’m not a Microsoft employee, I haven’t been able to test drive TownSquare first hand. Perhaps, after tomorrow at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston, this will soon change. :-)

Update 6/11/2008: Digging around a bit more, I see that Chris is presenting “Accelerating Innovation within the Enterprise: The Value of Rapid Prototyping and User Insights” today with Nelle Steele, User Experience – Ethnographer, Microsoft Office Labs. This article on Nelle’s SMB work only increases my interested in TownSquare.