Some folks over at Microsoft have gone ahead and released a new program called 'Lunchbox' in the Marketpalce that's available for free. So what is 'Lunchbox'? That's almost a tough one to answer as the apps description is more a declaration of philosophy rather than specific purpose:
Collaboration and communication technology is liberating information workers from the physical constraints of time and location. In terms of flexibility, efficiency and productivity, there are gains to the employees and their companies. It is easy to focus only on the measurable benefits of the technology and overlook consequences of such a fundamental change in the landscape.
Liberation from rigid location and time requirements has consequences: reduced face-time in the office, less chance of spontaneous coffee-machine encounters that spark ideas and the increasing tendency to communicate only on a targeted/as-needed basis. Lunchbox is a small countermeasure to add back some spontaneous connection. It’s a virtual coffee machine, facilitating chance encounters without any pretext beyond working in the same company or sharing the same interest.
Conceived to increase connection in large companies and organizations, Lunchbox works for everyone. It uses the concept of user-definable “universes” to find matches for you… create a universe for your company or any other group of people you want to meet up with on the fly.
In other words it's like Match.com but for work? All kidding aside, it seems a neat way to meet and collaborate with people in your company, department or creative group whom you would never normally meet face to face. It seeks to avoid non-personal communication with the personal. Anyone else see the potential of this technology to be integrated later into Office? Powered by Azsure, it will be interesting to see where it goes and if groups adopt it. Grab it here in the Marketplace for a go.