Ismael Ghalimi produced the first Office 2.0 Conference at the beautiful St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco this week.  I attended and spoke on a panel called "Transitioning to Office 2.0"  along with TJ Kang, Robert Sutor, Sridhar Vembu, and Danny KolkeRafe Needleman was the moderator.

The premise of the conference was to generate debate and discussion around the future of productivity applications being completely web based, and to showcase companies that are  building services to make that possible. 

A theme that quickly emerged throughout the conference was that the ideal solution is more of a 'hybrid' model, as Esther Dyson called it; software that can adapt to being either online or offline.  This diverse approach provides the best of both worlds. 

We saw some connectivity issues during many of the demos which drove home that point.  And we also saw some very interesting examples of what online services can provide, like instant collaboration and sharing.

The 'hybrid' approach resonates with what we are doing at Microsoft; combining the best of what works on the client, and the best of what works as a service. With our Live efforts we are working to deliver more dynamic experiences through the fusion of software and serivces; the best of both worlds.  

When you think about what goes into organizing a conference like this and having it come off so well, it's very impressive.  Thanks to Ismael for making this happen, and for the opportunity to be a part of it.  And thank you to Rod Boothby from Innovation Creators who introduced us.

I'm pulling together a few more posts about some of the cool products there and the great people I met too.  Stay tuned!