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Microsoft announces Lists, a new Airtable-like app (microsoft.com)
531 points by prostoalex 13 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 277 comments





Under Balmer, Microsoft was stuck on the idea that Windows and Office defined their market, and any strategy had to enforce their centrality.

Nadella realized that Microsoft's actual market is Business Software, and is attacking the modern software categories in that market.

Azure is the biggest example. Using their customer base and channel to sell cloud computing. Github and LinkedIn as acquisitions fitting this strategy.

Lists seems to compete in some ways with Trello and JIRA, recognizing this as an important Business Software category Microsoft can compete in and leverage connections with other Microsoft software.


>Under Balmer, Microsoft was stuck on the idea that Windows and Office defined their market, and any strategy had to enforce their centrality.

Corporate/business revenue skyrocketed under Ballmer's reign.

The fact that MS had its hands in so many markets causes people to focus on the failures and ignore the business/enterprise/corporate success he helped MS achieve.


The comment you answered to (and the part you quoted) doesn’t say anything about revenue. What are you answering to?

People are quick to focus on the few consumer missteps of Ballmer while ignoring the huge strides MS made in the corporate/business space during his tenure.

The real problem was Microsoft under ballmer completely utterly missed the biggest computing revolution of the last 20 years.

Mobile.

That put Microsoft so far behind everyone in the industry that it forced the board to remove him...

He actually did a GREAT job in the enterprise space and efficiently maximizing profit in the other old school Microsoft sectors...

Put it another way... When Ballmer took over Microsoft owned +70% of computing OS market, when he left they owned something like 30% and were stuck on a trajectory where today they are at like 15%... Microsoft was primarily an OS company... He more or less sunk the company


Behind who?

Go look at the largest companies by market cap or look at the fact that MS apps are the most installed apps on iOS and Android.

Ballmer did amazing for MS and left a great company for Nadella.


I believe it's about potential. They could've been the second or third big mobile OS provider. They did incredibly well in enterprise (and now cloud computing) but they still left the field of mobile to Google and Apple. And there's no reason they couldn't do it, they had both the money and expertise to create something like Android.

> Go look at the largest companies by market cap or look at the fact that MS apps are the most installed apps on iOS and Android.

But that's thanks to Nadella, not Ballmer.


But did it? There was technological evolution in Microsoft products for sure (Windows Servers actually became viable), but that was going to happen when you run a company with thousands of engineers. Outside of that, what were the strides MS made? They started off with enterprise/desktop dominance, and by the end of Ballmer's term, they still had enterprise/desktop dominance but missed out on pretty much every other tech trend - from digital music, to cloud, to browsers, to smartphones, to search, and on and on.

Azure started in 08,

Bing is firmly in the 2nd spot to google

MS apps are the most installed on iOS and Android.

People forget that Ballmer left in 2014.


Isn't revenue one of the main if not the top metric that define "success" in a business?

It’s really “expected future revenue” that is the main metric.

Ballmer took over Microsoft at the height of the dotcom bubble valuations when pretty much everything in tech was overpriced. Any expectation that Microsoft's revenue would catch up to its inflated valuation in a short time frame was a great way to feel disappointed.

To that point, wasn't it Ballmer who really pushed for MS to spend $40B on Yahoo?

He was talking about market though. The two concepts are intimately related.

Lists is purely and simply a modern update to SharePoint lists. half of the current collaborative space in SaaS can be traced back to some kind of feature that SharePoint has had in the past.

> Lists seems to compete in some ways with Trello and JIRA

Azure Boards (part of Azure DevOps) is the most equivalent. Despite the naming it doesn't require any use of Azure.


When Airtable came out, I remember hearing a lot of comparisons to MSFT Access (enabling non-technical users to set up DB-driven apps). Funny to see it come full circle and have MSFT now introduce a competitor. Maybe they should have invested in keeping Access current instead of leaving it stuck in the 90s?

They went full carbon-copy with this product, so it seems that they acknowledge that the UX in this space is key.

How do you upgrade the UX of a legacy product like Access without pissing off everyone? You can't. Old habits die hard. Modernizing or changing any fundamental UX in Access is probably a very unpopular choice within their current userbase and likely more expensive than starting from scratch.

It's simpler to go and copy Airtable which is already proven to be a successful model/UX and let that product cannibalize the market of your legacy products.


I think there's so much truth to UX being king, especially for tight-knit forward-thinking teams. However, these products always seem to ignore heavy use cases common in large orgs. Like lots of records and nuanced permissions that really fit business rules. I started from that direction with https://www.cloudternal.com (and will have a great UX eventually too!).

Looks great! I just singed up for early access. I'm currently helping a company choose a CRM. We went with Salesforce but I'd love to find a cheaper alternative. However it doesn't seem you can create automation within your product. Unless I'm mistaken?

We don't currently have automation, but we plan on having it ready either Q3 or Q4 this year (we might do mobile first, it depends on demand). Thanks for signing up, we'll reach out to you soon!

Curious - what made you go with Salesforce?

Mainly it's what I'm familiar with. But I did try and use other CRM's (including SuiteCRM, Airtable and a few others) and didn't find the important combination of:

1) Modern UI's I didn't need to write myself

2) Automation with and transactional atomic write guarantees

3) An extensible and scalable sharing model

Although I didn't try dynamics. I'm guessing it's a suitable alternative.


Microsoft has been doing a lot of this lately. Skype needed a massive overhaul to keep up so they made a Slack clone (Teams) that will slowly take over as people decide to switch. AWS and Atlassian products are polular? They create Azure and Azure Devops, which replaces Team Foundations and Visual Studios Online.

Admittedly, in that last one they actually just upgraded Visual Studio Online to turn it into Azure Devops and added new features.


> How do you upgrade the UX of a legacy product like Access without pissing off everyone?

Make a new opt-in UX supporting the same backend features (meaning that you need new features to support both) and maintain both. But it's expensive, so eventually you hope to merge them or kill one, which is where the risk of people getting pissed off arises again. GMail/Inbox, for example.


> How do you upgrade the UX of a legacy product like Access without pissing off everyone?

Incrementally.


Windows incrementally removed the "Start" button and had to roll back.

This is simply an issue of creating generational products that adapt to the new ways your demographics are using technology. You can incrementally change a product but you will never be able to use new interaction patterns in a product that is used by people who don't know them and don't want to learn them.

Generation Z and Generation Alpha kids are not going to use Access. They will be using this or whatever succeeds this. That's for sure.

This is the same reason why Apple is going full steam into making the iPad its core productivity and creativity device. Newer generations have way better dexterity when using touch as an input, than let's say my generation (millennials). They know Macbooks are products with a UX expiration date.


I’m a Millennial and I’ll gladly use an iPad as my primary computer if it actually does everything a normal laptop can do. I honestly don’t see a difference in touch-based technology aptitude or dexterity between Millennials and Gen Z.

I considered myself pretty good with touch devices until I saw a kid editing a video in TikTok. Believe me, they have more dexterity.

I learned to use a computer with a physical keyboard and mouse. My nephew’s first and main computing device was an iPad. That definitely makes a difference.


This is interesting, would you be able to find something on YouTube that highlights this dexterity? I’m not entirely sure what to look for to see this new way of computing.

Look up videos of 20-somethings using Ableton Push and similar devices. They don't just play music with it. They use it to make entire songs at every stage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAeybdD5UoQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTx3G6h2xyA

I already have enough trouble with a piano with clear groupings to help find notes. I don't think I would get far with one of these.


This is certainly impressive, and I couldn’t do it, but I seen no reason why someone who puts an appropriate amount of hours into practice couldn’t do this too, no matter their age.

> they have more dexterity.

Carpet industry is infamous for this, employing kids for their 'nimble fingers' for manipulating delicate knots.

However, question is the same generation who are dexterous in editing TikTok video on mobile phone will grow up and loose dexterity. So, are we talking about new interface paradigm for only kids (and not any specific generation - X, Y or Z)?


Interesting. I didn't think about it that way, but it's totally possible that you lose that ability as you grow older.

Essential tremors are absolutely a thing as one ages too (and develops a coffee habit).

> Believe me, they have more dexterity.

Perhaps until you try them with tools like scissors, or manipulating objects like a piece of string?

I think Dexterity implies good skills with a wide range of affordances (not just with a touch interface).


>> Windows incrementally removed the "Start" button and had to roll back.

I mean, flat out removing something, by definition, is not incremental.


They should've shrunk the button down each release. For any features I plan to remove I'll gradually make them smaller.

If you can’t remove elements, you can’t refine design incrementally.

The corner still worked as a start menu, and they told you that on first run. It was as incremental as possible.

"They told you it was there" from a UX perspective is about as good as it not being there.

Didn’t they keep the “start” button but change the menu to the full screen Win8 version until they brought back the menu for Win10?

I don't remember how it happened as I had moved off of Windows in that period, maybe they made it slowly opaque over a couple releases.

That's the one thing you really don't want to do. I know, product and UX teams everywhere believe it's a good plan, but I suggest talking to users. There are few things that generate stronger emotions than "They moved my FUCKING menu item AGAIN"

They were actually doing that. Microsoft Access inherited many of the productivity features of Excel, such as filters in the column headers. It was great.

Where they dropped the ball was the core engine and capabilities.

What people wanted was quick & easy way to produce HTML5 forms and tables, but with the power of a native GUI app.

Meanwhile, Microsoft was removing features from Access, such as the SQL Server based "Access Data Projects" (ADP) mode, which was much more scalable than the legacy Jet database mode.


> What people wanted was quick & easy way to produce HTML5 forms and tables, but with the power of a native GUI app.

Spot on. As with all things, Microsoft-of-the-time saw the web as a competitor to its products, not a new platform.

They actually could have built substantial portions of Office 365 (which is to say, cloud -first and -integrated Office) in the early 2000s, but tried to protect their legacy businesses.

It's nice to see them finally getting there, but Access-to-Web would still be a killer product for much of Enterprise, if they could solve the data source connectivity issues in a clean way for users.


Actually, filters in the column headers came from a database, Paradox that predated GUI apps and was a major player in the PC database market.

The way people reacted to the Ribbon disagrees with you :) Toolbars specifically were replaced with an improved chunk of UI, everything else was left the same, and people were furious. Rightly so, to a degree - learning to use it was an adjustment. Now imagine that the whole app's UI incrementally changed and not just parts of it... nobody's gonna be happy about that.

> Toolbars specifically were replaced with an improved chunk of UI, everything else was left the same

Was hiding the file menu items behind a round logo that looked nothing like a button part of that improved UI?

Is the current file menu that looks like the rest of the menus but behaves totally different part of the improved UI?


The Menus were a toolbar before the ribbon existed, which is why you could customize them. Visual Studio was the same. So it was natural for the ribbon to eat up the menus as well. Certainly that's part of why people disliked it, but the artificial separation between 'menu' and 'toolbar' was already kind of a problem and that's why they were unified.

People disliked Ribbon because it took a logical system geared towards power users (hierarchical menus) and replaced it with an organic system geared towards new users (usage-driven ordering).

There was no way that wasn't going to piss off a very vocal segment of users, and Microsoft, to their detriment, badly botched the messaging.


My point is that even if Ribbon was a good idea the implementation had a number of flaws that made me question of UX really was the reason and not something else.

My go-to example is how the File menu was hidden behind a non-button that looked just like a fancy application logo.

Why would an actual, caring ux developer do that in a flagship product?


Am I the only damn person that liked the ribbon's?!

I don't think it's a question of what people ultimately like. It's that change is frustrating, especially for only marginal benefit.

I like the ribbon today, and I complained when it was released. And I stand by that complaint, I think pushback against change serves an important role, and developers should feel pain when making UX changes.

It's not just a matter of some changes being bad, even when they're good there's a cost. My grandparents both had iPhones, loved them and loved learning to do different things on them. Whenever I'd visit they'd have a laundry list of things they wanted to learn to do. Over time, that list was slowly supplanted by relearning how to do things they once knew, but had changed. It was extremely frustrating because so much of it was near-pointless. Easy for me (and most of their test-base, I'm sure) to relearn, but very difficult for nonagenarians.


You could make a new platform to help people slowly migrate to. It's been done with other products. Check out Articulate Storyline / Rise.

Can't they separate UX from the rest? and have 2 UX for the same product?

I would say that often leads to poor UX

Windows 8 is a good example of why that might not work.

You can add views and leave the old ones in place

Wait, you’re talking about the same company that had clippy, and moves around their ribbon as if the plot is none of our business?

Aren't both of them copies of Trello. They even copy Joel's description of the application as a list of lists: https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2012/01/06/how-trello-is-diff...

I don't think they're in the same space. Trello is a list of todo lists. Whereas Airtable and lists are for data you'd put in a spreadsheet or database.

Trello is moving into this space with some of their automation plugins.

Microsoft's modus operandi is copy, defeat, repeat.

It's a very profitable strategy, though perhaps less charismatic.

Other companies do this too, but I've seen few tech companies as good at copy, defeat, repeat as Microsoft.

In this same vein, they rarely try to take an old product and radically update it (at least not with success).

Partially because it's harder to make an exact copy of a new software concept with an existing technology.

They prefer to abandon existing products. (Unless the computing industry at large still gives the space mindshare, or the profits are too delicious to let go of.)

As I think about it....

It's sort of like Fortune 500 level FOMO...

Disclosure: I used to work at Microsoft. Love the company. But get irritated that their strategy often seems capricious -- chasing the latest industry squirrel.


[flagged]


Embrace, Extend, Extinguish is something different. It's about adopting standards in order to break them and gradually lock people into proprietary variants. This guy is talking about just copying existing products.

Access is my favorite Microsoft product. A web-based Access has always been a great idea.

Alas. I'm still angry Microsoft reneged on the promised migration path from workgroup to client/server.

Like the people burned by Google's abandonment of beloved product & projects, I will never again trust Microsoft enough to actually use their stuff voluntarily. I'm fresh out of goodwill. (Much as I like SQL/Server, my projects have always had a Plan B.)


They couldn't keep Access current, or, NOT stuck in the 90's because people would expect their 90's Access files to still work in the new version.

It's a weird one because on the one side, backwards compatibility is / has been keeping Microsoft behind for years. On the other, it's why so many companies trust them.


Access still a fantastic product that in no way compares to Airtable and other todo list toys on the market.

The best startup ideas are simply taking a piece of the massive office ecosystem and marketing it better than Microsoft.

Joel jokes about it here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nbkaYsR94c


yes, and they they are acquired by microsoft (or other giant) or microsoft simply makes a clone, just like what's happening here, or with teams, or todos or any other recent MS app. MSFT is just too big. Trillion dollar companies are a sin on this earth

> Maybe they should have invested in keeping Access current instead of leaving it stuck in the 90s?

Or maybe they were right to protect the enterprises with big legacy investments and will have relatively little trouble leveraging their entrenched position and vast resources to make a good-enough player in the new market once someone else has proven it to win by greater integration with Microsoft’s existing services.

I mean, that's been a fairly consistent (though not 100% so) recipe for success for Microsoft for quite a while.


FWIW, Sharepoint (online) has had a Lists feature for decades now, and is as prevalent in Enterprises as Access was, if not more. It just so happens to be that Teams is the flavor of the future. So more stuff from SharePoint comes into Teams. Not everything is a conspiracy.

Disclaimer: work there, but my views..


The video introduction I watched said that it was built on top of the SharePoint lists feature.

Hopefully the UX is better than the abysmal current UX for these lists.

I love Microsoft Access and think it's a great tool, but am struggling to think of any good business use cases that aren't covered better by Microsoft PowerBI

This product announcement taught me that airtable exists and got me interested in it.

I don't know why all the comments here are so snide. I wish my company's product was validated by having TC announce the largest player in our domain was creating a direct competitor to our product. Because I know they can't beat us on price or performance, and creating an inferior product that does the same thing (with a product announcement on TC giving our f'ing name alongside it!) would make me a wealthier man. Money can't buy this kind of ad.


Microsoft (and, similarly, Amazon) will beat them on price, this much is certain. Microsoft will beat nearly anything on price. They'll also win on integration points, and they'll win on it already being part of the package.

But, they rarely win on performance or features. Those are the verticals you need to hope are critical. In many product domains, actually, these doesn't matter. Microsoft wouldn't be in the dominant position they're in if performance mattered.

I'll say right now: some of the integration points they've shown here, where you can create line-of-business apps that embed directly into Teams, that is going to play so freakin well in sales conversations. Airtable has nothing like that. We don't run any Microsoft services at all at our company, and I want that specific thing; I'd rather it be Airtable inside of Slack, but there are way, way more companies out there who would rather it be Lists in Teams than anything to do with Airtable and Slack.


Airtable is $20/seat/mo on the pro tier (unlocks all the features) for a great UX but comes with harsh restrictions on table size and no webhooks for change data. I'm sure someone can beat them on price. For comparison, the entirety of GSuite is $12/seat/mo for the same tier.

But for the Gsuite you can't really tell if your data is being used, no? Trusting Google is amazingly difficult because of all their whoopsies.

That line of thinking holds up on the personal level—I, as well as many other HN readers I assume, care about it—but at the enterprise level, it won't play at all.

If Gsuite is significantly cheaper, has decent feature parity, and has the name of (one of) the biggest tech companies in the world behind it, it has already won 90% of the sales conversation for enterprise buyers.


I will use this immediately. I loved Airtable, but the pricing was a non starter for our business. We already have office635, and we’re likely to use this all over the place.

It’s bundled with office, so for enterprise customers (where the $$$ is), Lists is free whereas AirTable is not. Even with any pricing adjustments, I find it very unlikely office customers would save going with AirTable. Maybe they have a market in GSuite customers?

Just like with Teams and Slack, the office product just has to be good enough, and it will succeed. Microsoft doesn’t need to make money off it, just protect their office subscriptions. Slack and AirTable need to make money.


Yeah I know someone who is working on rolling out AirTable to many departments in their company over the last few months. This big enterprise corp uses MS Office 365 already (like many big corps). And with so many companies looking to cut corners, with a free product available incorporated into a suite of apps they already pay for why continue to pay for AirTable?

This might make AirTable loose a pretty large customer even if the actual end users in the company prefers AirTable.


How much is AirTable support? How much is Lists/365's?

But most bigcorps already pay for 365 support. And if they were using airtable or considering, Lists starts to look better. This is an addiction to a current MS product.

For many organizations, the fact that it is free is less important than the fact that they already have Office.

If a team in a mid-to-large company wants to use Airtable, they will have to spend a lot of time championing the process--audits, vetting, bidding, legal, data management, and on and on and on.

If they subscribe to Office365, they've already gone through this process. It will either be enabled by default, or be subject to a much less stringent review before IT flips the switch.

Put another way: money (at least the sums involved for most SaaS) is the least important objection a customer might have to adoption.

Side note: this is also part of the reason why Excel is so popular, even though many executives are aware of its short-commings and might wish for something more integrated. Even if they have the budget, it is excruciating trying to onboard a SaaS offering.


Absolutely agree with everything here. But I'm curious what you're considering as an Excel replacement? For anything more sophisticated than Google Sheet's can handle I can't think of a single alternative off-hand.

Apologies, that part of my post was unclear.

I didn’t mean replacements for Excel itself. I meant specific vertical applications that are meant to replace common excel use cases.

I’ve been part of efforts to evaluate tools like Wrike and Aha! as replacements for gnarly excel spreadsheets. A single meeting of the stakeholders (managers of affected teams, VPs, high level engineers) to consider some aspect of the purchase decision cost more in salary and opportunity cost than a year of the SaaS subscription. Actual adoption, implementation, and training turned the cost of the product into a rounding error.


Also important in my field (education) is compliance with records management laws, which means that we do as much as possible with just MS tools in order to avoid needing to export and manage data from so many different sources. We are currently moving projects from Trello to MS Teams + Planner for this reason even though the workflow will likely be worse.

Is teams records management compliant? I know it isn't in my country

It depends on what you do with it, but in my estimation, not really (and it's actually easier to export data from Trello assuming you pay for Business Class). But our IT and records people seem to believe that having everything under the same vendor umbrella is an improvement over having data scattered between services, even if some of the components don't actually offer full compliance.

From a bureaucratic perspective, what auditing feedback looks better:

A: "You're not compliant, what the hell were you thinking using this 'Trello' thingie ?!?"

B: "You're not compliant but it's fine, everyone uses Microsoft like you do so it's probably not possible to be fully OK, we are all in the same boat..."

Feedback B can easily go up the chain with no repercussions. Feedback A cannot. It's a sad world.


Many companies are Microsoft shops and will use Lists even if it's inferior. I imagine the Airtable people are not at all happy about MS entering the market even though they will no doubt spin it in the way you mention.

The one thing big players (with other revenue sources) can always do is beat you on price... usually "free" or packaged with their other products.

Airtable looks amazing! You can even add Gantt blocks. This annoucement has probably got Airtable a new paying customer. I have so many uses for this!

There are a few UI problems on this page, which are quite in line with my Office 365 experience at my workplace.

Near the top of the page there's those four screenshots in a grid and you get the "image zoom (+)" cursor when you hover on it. Clicking it brings up ... a smaller version of the image ???

About halfway down, a pop-up box gets in the way. I dismiss it, and get sent back to the top of the page.

I'm afraid MS is building an ecosystem where this kind of thing is seen as acceptable - anyone who's used sharepoint a lot knows what I mean. A pet peeve of mine there is my "groups" appear in a bar on the left, but a second or two after the page loads, my "favourites" appear there too pushing the original groups down. The number of times I've clicked on the wrong one because it changed under my moues cursor ... and I'm not even going to start on the broken scrolling on a long sharepoint page where it dynamically loads the content bit by bit.

Much as I don't want to be one more Microsoft-hater (I really liked the last non-cloud version of office), their current strategy seems to be take something popular and launch a business version with worse UX. Compare for example: Trello and MS planner.


> A pet peeve of mine there is my "groups" appear in a bar on the left, but a second or two after the page loads, my "favourites" appear there too pushing the original groups down. The number of times I've clicked on the wrong one because it changed under my moues cursor ...

I've had colleagues report (and seen it happen) similar behavior in Google search results.

Less seriously I'd expect this to be just lack of care in SharePoints case (anyone actually is ready to click the link as it shows up, haha...) and the result of a random mutation that created significantly higher ad click rate short term and was therefore selected in Googles case ;-)


I'm sometimes tempted to use and recommend Airtable. There is a lot to like.

But their "records-per-base" limit is a complete non-starter. The highest tier of service (before Enterprise) has 50k record cap, which disqualifies it for many reasonable use cases.

Apologists for Airtable hand-wave away this concern. They say Airtable has integrations with other systems and databases; that Airtable is meant for current data only; that its not meant to store complete histories; that larger databases would be too resource-consuming.

None of it is persuasive. The limit seems arbitrary and seems obviously intended to drive businesses into the Enterprise pricing.

I've even tried to contact them about it in the past, to get a larger limit. I was starting work on a non-fiction book and thought it would make a great writing support tool for gathering facts and evidence. But I never heard back.


In a few months you might be interested in Baserow. It's an open source alternative to Airtable that we're developing. Right now we have a very early test version at https://baserow.io that everyone can try, but it's still limited. This month we're adding some essential features and next months will be in light of the open source release. After that you can self host it without any limits.

This looks very cool. I'll be taking a closer look.

One minor nitpick - you might want to adjust your comments and site copy to say "it will be open source" rather than "it is open source". Cheers.


It might be under an open source license. In which case anyone who has access to the source can exercise their rights under that license. Being open source does not necessarily mean that it's available for download on the web, though eventually it will be.

Looks great, hope you'll succeed with this! Having an affordable on-prem alternative with native database support are killer features for me.

Very interested in this! Could you please incorporate rss support in your blog so I can keep track of it?

I've added the issue to the backlog!

Hey, looks like your auth / permissions are messed up. Looks like the app in general isn't functional at all?

I'm seeing DBs/groups from what I believe are other accounts.


Wow, I'm having the same issue right now. It seems to be related to having multiple replicas in the Kubernetes cluster. I've scaled it down to a single replica and that seems to fix it for now. As you can see this is clearly an early alpha version. Thanks for notifying me about this issue and my apologies for the inconvenience.

You shouldn't be able to see groups and databases of others. Can you elaborate a little bit about what you are seeing that is not supposed to be there? Or maybe you can send me a screenshot at bram [at] baserow [dot] io?

I love the look of this. Just make it so it's easy to make full offline backups and I'll be happy to leave hosting and server maintenance to you.

I'll make sure this feature is going to be implemented in the future. Might take a while though, there are lots of other features that have more priority :).

Really encouraging to see an OS option.

Hard API limits on 100 rows returned at a time also make it completely infeasible for some use cases. Last time I checked, this couldn't even be lifted for enterprise customers too.

I used fieldbook prior to Airtable, but unfortunately they closed down and I am still sad about it. They had a better pricing model (well, for me, obviously not for them since they couldn't sustain a business), and a magical search function that would find different bits of your search string in different fields. I have one client I use airtable with, but their pricing makes almost everything else not feasible for me.

I really liked the idea of airtable and use it for toy projects. But the record limit, version retention limits, and expensive per use pricing made it so I can’t use it on real projects.

Even simple stuff like asset tracking will go past the record limit and if I have to build something to dump and archive and then query both, I’d rather not bother as most systems I archive to have some UI and workflow option. So I’d rather have one mediocre system for the entire data than an awesome UI for part, and a mediocre system anyway.

The team seems smart, but I assume they have some technology architectural problems that make them not get big.

I would rather pay by data stored or I/o or something but charging the same for a user who adds 100 items per month as one who only reads or only adds one is hard to pay for.


Hey, I am so happy to see Baserow. I am building https://dwata.com, which is primarily an admin for SQL and API (Stripe, Mailchimp) data. So it expects an existing DB with tables and stuff but I have plans to create tables with custom schema, on demand (migrations take care of).

Airtable is a great inspiration from the UI point of view but I am have a strong opinion of self-hosted. So Dwata will try best to stay self-hosted. It is open source (https://github.com/brainless/dwata) but I am surely planning to make money by selling license/support - have not reached there yet.


Someone suggested I go to Airtable after getting frustrated with the query options in Excel on a personal project, in lieu of using a full database.

It was a spectacularly bad suggestion; Airtable seemed to require the same sorts of weird support columns and formulas as Excel in order to support multivariate queries. I came away thinking it was just a pretty browser-based spreadsheet toy, and not a thing useful for actual work.

I'm still baffled by the love.

(And I went on to use Pandas/Jupyter Notebooks/Python for my project.)


Making it per-base rather than per-user is odd.

Suppose I'm thinking of using airtable to build something shared between all our staff. If I have 10 staff on the pro tier they can add 5000 items each.

But if I pay ten times as much for 100 staff they can only add 500 items each.

My guess is that it's more of a technical limit, and they had difficulty making it perform well for larger bases.


Records-per-staff is certainly an issue, but in fact the problem is much more severe.

A great deal of the value of the Airtable comes from having multiple sheets in a single base. Put another way, the value comes from the ability to maintain relationships of data.

So those 10 or 100 staff aren't just entering individual items. They are, say, adding project information--ideas, bugs, tasks, managing the next sprint. Every additional bit of information you add to Airtable compounds the problem.

Airtable is the only data management tool I've ever seen that punishes users for storing more data.


The records-per-base issue is super annoying. I've actually been in touch with their enterprise group and I was told the enterprise limit was 100,000 records. That's a total show-stopper. So I created cloudternal.com, without any of those limits.

I am a fan of Airtable, but the 50k record per base cap is annoying. Perhaps this will prompt Airtable to relax the cap.

It's just something with lots of Microsoft's latest software that annoys me. They all feel behind, laggy and lacking features in comparison to their competitor.

Slack > Teams

Trello > Planner

PowerBi > Tableau, Looker, Mode

And by the quick looks of it:

Airtable > Lists

At the same time I'm looking at that $136 billion cash pile. Oh well, at least they acquired Github...


That's just how major corporations operate.

They don't innovate much, which is too risky -- they buy/copy and they integrate into a single attractive package for businesses.

Customers (companies) don't want to have to spend months researching which separate word processor, spreadsheet, calendar, chat app, email, etc. to use. They want a single integrated choice.

Integration brings an insane amount of value to the table. When you include that, the competitors often become a clear second choice, even if they seem better when judged on their feature set alone.

Also, for people who haven't been involved in integrating products as part of a suite, the amount of work is close to unbelievable. Want to make a small improvement in Calendar, that seems like you should budget a single developer 2 weeks for? Guess what, it's a 3-person six-month-long project because now you have to update 20 other products and API's that interface with calendar, as well as handle interoperability between versions, independent rollouts and rollbacks, etc. But at MS Office scale, the improvement can still be worth it.


Over the years there is something I've realized about the mainstream user. They do not want the best. They want convenient and 'good enough' and compliant.

All of Microsoft tools work fine, sync really well with each other and integrate natively with existing workflows.

Power users even among devs are a rare breed.


It does make sense to prioritize how well something fits into your overall workflow higher than which tools is the best in a vacuum.

And sync is the one big advantage of Office products. It's a pain to properly sync email, chat, file storage, calendars etc. MSFT has a very compelling way that works for end users and IT alike. Setting this up with products from different vendors is a pain.

That would explain Yammer.

AFAIK they purchased Yammer, it wasn't an in-house product.

Teams is leagues better than Slack simply because of how well it integrates with all of the other ms apps.

PowerBI is also on another level when compared to other BI tools due to its data modeling capabilities.


I disagree. I use both and Teams is very buggy. It does more than Slack with 365 integration, but it doesn’t do what Slack does well- persistent chat, document collab, calls.

I would expect to never miss a notification. I don’t in Slack, but Teams will delay notification for hours.

Search in Teams doesn’t find as well as slack. Won’t search across “teams” as opposed to multiple slack orgs.

Teams will freeze and require religion/restart but I won’t know it unless I try to use the tool. So it could have been frozen for minutes or hours without updating. Slack has never had this problem.

It’s weird how multiple times each day (I’ve used Teams for about six months) I scratch my head with some bonehead bug. Not in the free tier of Slack.


>Teams is leagues better than Slack simply because of how well it integrates with all of the other ms apps.

In which way? From what I have seen, teams functionality is so much worse than the native counterparts that I wouldn't call it integration. Even if it is better than Slack, it's obstructive to the point that I am wondering if the teams development team has ever used it to manage themselves.


It integrates seamlessly with excel online, ppt online, word online.

Which makes the concept of "file sharing" moot because one just has to paste the new file and the entire team can start working on it without ever leaving the teams app.

The same story holds for integrating with the other 365 apps that MS has.

Additionally, the PowerBI integration is absolutely game changing for sharing performance reports seamlessly to everyone on the team.


This is my experience. The Teams viewer in word or excel is different than the full browser that is different than desktop.

A bette experience, I think, is post link to google doc in whatever chat, everyone clicks on link and edits doc in browser. I wish that worked well in Teams. Part of the problem is Word365 which seems to break under lots of collaborators and revisions. Track changes is practically unusable with lots of edits. Every time, someone ends up “starting over.” And it’s more hassle to try than to do any serious collabs. But for minor edits, it’s nice.

There’s no advantage to me to “never leave the teams app.”


Have you tried more advanced features like making lists in word? Word and word online behave differently.

And when it comes to file sharing: how do you copy the name of a file into the clipboard?


Click open on desktop. Any changes you make it automatically synced to Teams.

It’s a complete seamless experience for collaboration.


There's a lot of outdated thinking that Teams < Slack.

I use both multiple times a day. Teams is far from a carbon copy of Slack.

If anything, Slack needs to pay attention to Teams. They've already out-innovated Slack on several fronts. For example, Teams is a slick hybrid of industry-std channels (Slack) and industry-std video (Zoom). Slack doesn't offer that.


Are Teams and Slack competitors at all? I thought one was targeted document sharing, calendaring, and video meetings, and the other was general group chat and asynchronous communication?

I haven't used either to an enormous extent - I've used both, but only to the extent that I've had to in recent weeks - anyone care to educate me?


Sure, Teams is Slack plus Zoom with Office 365 integration. It turns out that chat follows an organization’s team structures really well, so adding video conferencing and document sharing to channels are a really natural fit to help people work together.

My children are on Teams for school from home, it's dogshit. It has that ugly MS-of-2011 sheen where anything you click you get empty white loading or worse yet a huge spinning GIF with no idea what's happening. Sorry I'm being so rough, but I have to deal with this software every day right before work and it pisses me off.

I briefly had to use it a couple years ago and found it super confusing. Lots of business tools for me are "places I put things if I want to lose them" and Teams 100% qualified.

Then again I bounced off Facebook in ~2011 because I didn't understand the UI (couldn't figure out where anything "went" or would appear for others when I posted it any of the various ways to post things—wall, others' walls, comments on things, statuses, and so on—or where they were coming from when I saw them) and Twitter's confused the hell out of me since a couple redesigns ago, so possibly I'm just dumb.


I have used lots of BI tools over the years, PowerBI is the class of the field and it is not even close.

I agree. Teams has felt very unintuitive, and often has duplicate notifications, and Planner is embarrassingly bad - you can’t even edit comments. I don’t understand how there are so many little bugs and annoyances they’re a massive company and they’re putting a lot behind these products.

You forgot about Flow which is some terrible version of Zapier.

What you're forgetting is that all of those SaaS tools came about to improve (or replace) some of the existing Microsoft products that did not live up to the expectations of the modern corporate world:

Slack -> Lync/Skype for Business/Whatever other name MSFT came up with

Trello -> MS Project

Tableau -> MS SSRS

Airtable -> SharePoint Lists & Workflow


I really like the latest to-do app they have, its on every platform (except linux...), nice design and relatively snappy. Sure its not the most advanced app, but it does everything I need and want.

Their new terminal emulator has potential, although I do find it a bit slow and fonts to be weird.


I hates their barebone 'barely there' product too, but damn, their integration game is strong(in the enterprise world at least), especially all these recent announcement.


Can we change the link into the one above? The Techcrunch article is awful. And the Microsoft site actually offers more details.


No task hierarchy?

How can you possibly manage anything without hierarchy? No task list is worth anything if you cannot chunk it down.

If all you need is literally a list - just write them on a doc. The rest is all fluff.


AirTable is incredibly reminiscent of Lotus Notes.

I say that in a good way.

Lotus Notes was the first no-code system for developing networked/people/workgroup oriented systems.

Notes lost its way, but Airtable has extracted the essential essence of the Notes client and done an amazing job of making it work.

Airtable is worth checking out in detail because it's implemented extremely well with great attention to detail and beautiful solutions to thorny UI problems.


I wonder if the developers/designers are aware of the common ancestry with Lotus Notes.

I suspect not because it looks like the founders are too young to have even used Notes - my guess is this is a clean reinvention.


Founder of Airtable here--we did look at Lotus Notes as an interesting historical precedent, though of course we've also invented from scratch in many cases, and being web-based and collaborative by default is a huge wedge for us in terms of adoption virality. I admit I'm too young to have used Lotus Notes but we did buy an old Lotus Notes guidebook, as well as looked up old Infoworld and other magazine articles (Google Books indexes those magazines!) about Notes, dBase, and other products in the genre : ).

Cool to see the founder here.

People loved or hated Notes.

It was way, way ahead of its time. It was really the very first system that integrated the concept or networking, users, groups, a replicated database, nosql unstructured data, form building and in built security with a sophisticated GUI.


I hated it because it was hard to get data out of it and no way as a user to automate tasks.

I think it was great if you had departmental developers building stuff, but I hated not being able to make my own forms. And I hated having to open up Notes in 2010 to click a procurement button or a timesheet button. If it was web-based (or had an api) I could have just scripted requests to do the same thing.


Maybe more proof that there's nothing new under the sun. I remember looking at this space and how so much was inspired by 80s tools like FileMaker and Hypercard.

Any thoughts on creating hierarchical lists? I find flat lists can be done on a shared Google sheet.

Its funny that you mention that. I reread your comment, and for some reason this time it triggered my memory of lotus notes. I've heard of lotus notes in the same way as betamax and the avvro arrow - ancient tech that was ahead of its time. I am almost certain that they've heard of it because I've seen lotus notes being discussed in the past and I am pretty sure at least one instance was in relation to airtables.

I wish that companies would not release information about their apps until they are ready. Perhaps Microsoft is attempting to head off current Office365 subscribers from putting their workflows in AirTable by telling them that a similar product is on their horizon, but it I just don't know what to do with dates like "Coming this summer" and "later this year." Either I have the need now, in which case I'm probably using AirTable, or I'm going to sort of forget about this software until someone else on my team gets everyone together and asks them to migrate to it.

> I wish that companies would not release information about their apps until they are ready.

Unfortunately it's part of a successful marketing strategy in which you 1) announce you _will_ release, 2) announce you _are_ releasing, and 3) announce you _did_ release.


For me it's a case of "you only get one chance to make a first impression". I'm interested now. By the time it's released I might not hear about it or I might have lost interest.

At least always provide a "notify me" email option.


One of the biggest criticisms against MS was not releasing sooner.

Now there’s preview and dev versions of every single major product. It’s awesome.


It seems extra strange for a giant company with really broad PR reach to announce they'll be providing a solution for a need you didn't know you had, but not yet, and in the meantime everyone will tell you that over here's a separate company who will already do it for you. Given the lack of MS product, it seems like this announcement would only help airtable.

If you start writing this software now, you would probably release 3rd competitor to this duo faster then some corporation decides to buy airtable if they heard about it now. Quick is very relative term

it takes a lot of time for enterprises to buy software, so if they start that process now after the announcement, by the time they are ready to actually buy, microsoft will have released it. Bonus for microsoft is that can already start competing with airtable for a commercial perspective, even if they don't actually ship the software already.

Microsoft FUD is back!

What does this mean?

Fear Uncertainty and Doubt.

In the days leading up to Microsoft's antitrust case, Microsoft would routinely pre-announce competing products, or announce they would be adding functionality from other competing products into Windows or Office.

Even without releasing anything, just these announcements would create Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt in their competitors and customers considering investing in their products.


It means, why consider using something like Airtable? Microsoft has this new product coming out that will do the same thing, and it's from Microsoft. No one gets fired for buying Microsoft.

OK but where does Fear and Uncertainty fit into this model?

You're planning to start using a system like that. Is going with Airtable (available now) a bad financial / management decision? Is switching later going to be possible?

I'm really disappointed at Build conference this year. Very little about programming, C# and .NET. I'm worried that it is a dying platform. I'm not interested in the Azure side of things, I'd like to see more investment and genuine innovation in the foundations like languages, runtimes, libraries.

C# is roughly on an 18-month release cycle for major versions. I’d be surprised if your org has finished getting up to speed on 8 yet. The next .net release should be next year. .net core is in the middle of a release right now. I think the timing of Build is just bad. But you’re also right that they are not as attention-grabbing as the consumer-oriented and power-user-oriented releases or as strategically critical as Azure.

I was learning OCaml and was going to learn F# but I sensed that the whole .net family was losing steam.

So I'm not trying to sound negative, but it seems like Airtable falls under what I call the JIRA / Excel space of software. You let the end-user do unlimited things and it sold itself, I guess in a sense you could throw MongoDB in there too. It may not be a perfect solution to someone who does develop software, but for someone who just saved several salaries for hiring a developer it is definitely a gold mine.

Funnily enough, this looks like it's capable of replacing JIRA and Airtables in one swoop. If you're already hooked into Teams, it's an easy integration. Slack needs to play catch up before Teams steals all their candy.


> Slack needs to play catch up before Teams steals all their candy.

It may steal a lot, but there's a large number of companies which neither run office/exchange nor are they interested to start doing it. Slack will rule there.


I completely agree, and that is okay. I do have to admit though, Teams has a lot to offer from the amount of time I have been using it. I've also heard of some public schools using it extensively to manage classrooms and students, at least here in Central Florida (Sidenote: it surprises me when other places I would assume have 'advanced' study from home programs do not but we do).

This seems more like SharePoint lists than Airtable. And SharePoint Lists are an absolute pain to work with using any typical structured data patterns.

I’ve run into many weird List workflows made by non developers to try to save money on developers and they just end up creating all these manual steps and wonky forms with horrible UX to do simple things like “add a document in a specific category.”

I wish they would make “cloud access” as it would be bette than all these half web, half excel macro spatchcock solutions.

I think the forms+workflow with data in the cloud is done well with airtable and also pretty close with appian, Salesforce and others.


I'm surprised that so many in the comments don't seem to be making the connection with Sharepoint lists. I need to look deeper at this, but I think this is more like Sharepoint lists on steroids.

And what are they going to do with PowerApps? It was always missing a really good data grid.


It is SharePoint lists under the hood. Looks like they also have PowerApps integration as well as power automate.

I'd say it seems like a kind of re-invention of the UI for SharePoint lists. I wouldn't be surprised if the backend for this was really just some generalization of the existing code base that implemented SharePoint list functionality.

Somewhat tangential (more Excel related) but had to put these videos by Krazam somewhere at some point on HN. Enjoy!

MAKRO | Microsoft Excel Stream Highlights 3/19

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xubbVvKbUfY

MAKRO | XLOOKUP: META BREAKER? | Microsoft Excel Stream Highlights 10/19

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICp2-EUKQAI&t=148s


While we are talking about Airtable, anyone used it before?

I am thinking of using it to track daily habit of my family but the UI seemed too complex.


It is shiny from outside but has many issues that are embarrassing and can only be discovered once you have used it. (I guess looking at the open list of issues will also give you a hint).

Their UI and interface isn't that bad but their APIs are VERY BASIC. For example, there is no way to retrieve metadata about an Airtable base (sheetnames, columns etc). Or, there is no way to tell whether a link between sheets is a singular link or list of links. No way to connect different bases together.

Many of feature requests that were opened 3-4 years back still have no closure despite popular demand.

In my opinion Airtable is alright for basic usage (like yours). But nothing advance.

I know all this because I created an open-source library to dynamically create postgres database from multiple Airtable bases. (In case anyone is interested)


The API documentation is amazing though; at least the aspect I tried. You select your table (base) and the documentation shows examples ready to be pasted in your app - don't need to change anything but the data your want to insert.

Thanks, it did sound too good to be true!

Airtable has a learning curve, but it's life-changing once you're comfortable with it. To me, it felt like discovering spreadsheets when I had only worked with documents before.

Really? I found it significantly more limiting than what I can accomplish in Google Sheets / Excel (although admittedly I'm a power user). The UI and mobile app is way better though.

I would characterize myself as an Excel power user, and I love Airtable. The use case is different. Airtable is great for setting up a web-based relational DB app for multiple users very quickly. For example, I have used airtable to implement a CRM system for a small but distributed team of non-technical users. I haven’t found anything else that allows me to set up such an application so easily and quickly.

We run a fairly large business on it, and it's great from a UI standpoint, but for anything complex (such as reporting) we do dumps to Google Sheets where we run formulas to extract what we need. If I was starting all over, most likely I'd go directly for Google Sheets next time.

What is life changing about it?

I'm trying to replace Google Sheets with Airtable for spending, and also tracking time spent on project to calculate my hourly rate.

Some things about it are awesome, and with Zapier integrations you could do a lot of fun stuff (1). Like attaching files to a row is something obviously very useful.

But OTOH simple analysis using pivot tables, like I do in Google Sheets, is a pro feture (blocks) which a free user can't even evaluate.

(1) Something like: everytime I generate a new sw build, add file to Airtable and start a draft email to client linking about the new version.


You mentioned pivot tables, so reporting tools may be more appropriate in your case. Say, you can keep using Google Sheets, and sync the worksheet with BI tool that for various reports. A lot of totally free options here (including SeekTable, why not?..).

Every time I’ve tried Airtable For personal tracking I’ve come back to seeing Excel it OneNote as the easier way to track. I now have a reason to want to try the Microsoft version given which I guess makes me the target non-business audience of this announcement.

I would love to keep using it, but as another commenter pointed out, the hard limits on rows/records is a deal-breaker for me. Other than that, it's a great tool though!

$Msft cooking up that copy pasta once again.

Oh this will be so useful for comparison lists, inventory for small companies and much more. AirTable is a really cool product and I hope Lists is using the power of excel with proper image support.

Seatable is nice open source alternative that allows personal and business use.

https://seatable.io/


I wonder if Airtable will be tempted to / research suing MS. This is not just "same market, similar functionality" like Teams/Slack, or even Excel/Sheets. This is a literal copy, together with the visual style, layout, feel of the icons. Without the sidebar, I could not tell this is not Airtable in most screenshots.

Logical for MS to copy here. Airtable is such a powerful simple solution, I had people who had never worked with computers using it daily.

I've now built 2 companies on Airtable - thank you for building wonderful software! Right there next to Figma for me.


In the meanwhile, Microsoft ToDo app is broken: when you sort alphabetically, inexplicably, completed items are not sorted alphabetically, which makes the app useless for grocery shopping. If someone from MSFT is listening, do please fix.

Looking at this sales site for Lists, the biggest thing that stands out for me is the JPG compression they're using for the app screenshots...in 2020, it's anything but acceptable!

30+ years and counting, Microsoft (and others) are still trying to capture the functionality of Lotus Notes. Sort of admirable in a way, but also very sad for the rest of us.

Think about how sad it must be for Ray Ozzie. He really tried.

From the screenshots, this looks like a shameless rip-off of Airtable. In the same way that Bing Adcenter is a shameless rip-off of Google Ads. I understand why MS do it, but anyone who works on either of these products should feel a bit dirty.

BTW Airtable is a great product. I used it to create a database system for a local charity and it has been transformative for them.


Lists seems a lot like an existing product from Microsoft called PowerApps

https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/

That is a lot like Airtable too and has been out for a number of years.


(for users in the G Suite ecosystem)

I've built an Airtable-like product that lives inside your inbox and is directly linked to your email conversations.

https://trypigeon.co


I’d call this product WunderLists

Isn't Microsoft's implementation of Wunderlists the To Do app (https://todo.microsoft.com/tasks/)? This seems similar, but the article points out it's a distinct product. Do you know if any of the Wunderlist developers worked on this app?

This is probably the best TODO app that I've used. Nice, simple workflow.

Can anyone comment on whether Lists, (and especially Teams) are Electron based, or React Native perhaps since Microsoft has a lot of support for that? There is that "webplatformy" look and feel, but I'm not sure?

I don't know, but given MSFTs work with Typescript and React Native, I'm betting Teams and now Lists are probably Typescript React Native apps.

Sharepoint does billions in revenue per year for Microsoft. Besides competing directly with Airtable, Lists combined with Sharepoint will also likely help to head off Notion, which has docs, sheets, and boards bundled together.

Wouldn't be Microsoft without releasing 7 versions of the same thing.

Well, not as bad as Google with their multiple chat applications...

isn't Lists essentially Sharepoint Lists or is it more involved?

Salesforce offers Quip, which is a competitor to Notion

Kinda feels like they are unassumingly on a roll?

So Microsoft just copies any successful small product that shows up? Trying to prevent another competitor the size of Slack/Zoom?

To the people at large companies working on replicating small company products. How do you motivate yourself?


I don't know why you're getting downvoted; you are definitely correct. Companies like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are simply copying others and applying their large capital/labor pool to product categories or markets created by more-deserving smaller players.

Apart from this playbook feeling unfair and resulting in undeserved success for these companies, I think it is also a danger for innovation. It signals to would-be investors that backing a startup may result in them having thrown away capital just to have a big behemoth brute force their way into that startup's niche later on. It tells founders that they might throw away years of their life for a return that isn't what they would otherwise expect. And it undermines society by continuing massive aggregation and control of the digital world under a few big players.

To me, all of this is a sign that we need renewed antitrust laws to split up Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and other players that have too much control.


That’s the problem with these large companies. They can take out any small competitor easily just by outspending and using their big name.

And often they kill a small competitor this way and then let the product die slowly so the end it’s a negative.


can you give recent examples?

One that comes to mind is google reader. There were quite a few decent RSS readers out there but then Google Reader came in and took over. Then google dropped it and RSS almost died.

Summary of the history on that here:

https://www.zdnet.com/article/embrace-extend-extinguish-how-...

They use the "Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish" line that apparently came out of internal MS emails, but as they say, not quite the same in the Google Reader case: no intent to extinguish presumably -- but the same effect.


“no intent to extinguish presumably -- but the same effect.“

Agree. No intent but the same result.


Atom, for one. I know everyone here loves VSCode, but the UI in my opinion is terrible. I also don't know how it's faster than Atom for everyone else, I haven't had that experience on any machine yet. I loved Atom, but it's not getting as much support/updates now and the remote-edit package I use every day will occasionally not work at all.

> So Microsoft just copies any successful small product that shows up?

Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, or any other company that has the resources to do so. They're all the same in that regard.


Although I will give Apple credit for being the best at that. They are so successful that predecessor products go right in the memory hole, and Apple gets credit not just for their product, but for the whole category. E.g., the MP3 players before the iPod, the smartphones before the iPhone, and the smartwatches before the iWatch. (RIP respectively my Archos player, my Palm Treo, and my Pebble.)

> predecessor products go right in the memory hole

I think this phenomena is an artifact of how well they enter a market. Pre-iPhone smartphones were really bad. They all instantly felt 10 years old the day the iPhone released. That's probably the most extreme example, though.


Btw, don't forget that there are worse strategies taken by giants:

1 Threaten the shared clients (when one of the giants tried to push out mellanox, it specifically sent a message to all enterprise customers to stop using the small competition, or else they'll loss benefits) 2 (Almost ?) Every startup is violating some IBM/broadcomm/Google/etc patents, those are playing cards that can be used to shut them down or buy at a fraction of the value.


> How do you motivate yourself?

Competitiveness doesn't only belong to the small company, sadly. Also, they pay very well.


> So Microsoft just copies any successful small product that shows up?

I'm assuming you weren't around for the 90s?


I was as kid, and used to think “tough shit guys, better product wins”. I knew nothing.

I made a more serious reply about Microsoft's past behavior here:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23237643


People from Microsoft or from the startups?

This looks like a product push to make the most out of WAH during COVID-19 crisis. On similar note, I must say that Zoom ate Skype's lunch within weeks and MS marketing team has royally screwed that one up.

wait they have MS teams which has way more users

I'm surprised about how many of Microsofts announcements isn't working products. Seems pretty big this build.

The purpose of this announcement seems only to stop enterprise people from starting to use AirTable.


I don't know why, but I'm getting Web 2.0 vibes from this product.

so finally sharepoint for humans

> Microsoft Lists is designed to be the next evolution of SharePoint Lists [0]

Exactomundo!

[0] https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/19/21263400/microsoft-lists-...


Human friendly link: https://outline.com/muxSJF

Might be better than TC, but outline still steals the back button.

Is this comparable to SeaTable? [0]

[0] https://seatable.io/


Is it bad I’ve missed out on winning medium sized projects by teaching clients how to use air table and do it themselves?

So this is a modern visual fox pro?

I was hoping they would have integration with the Sticky Notes application in Windows 10.

How can Airtable survive this? I wish MS had bought them instead...

to be honest, I cannot believe it has taken this long for the likes of either Google, Microsoft etc to build a product like this. FANG is like the old dog that's chasing the puppy.

Is this the reason Notion has adjusted its pricing?

Notion actually announced new pricing hours before Microsoft announced this.

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