A couple people asked me at the ESRI UC what I thought about the ESRI MapIt announcement and how it related to MapDotNet and IDV Solutions products. Both MapDotNet and IDV Solutions have great products and really impressive support teams so don’t expect either to just disappear anytime soon (if at all). One thing is for sure though, MapIt is like no other ESRI product before it on how it is sold, supported and how agile the development team is. I suspect we’ll be seeing more ESRI MapIt type products from ESRI (smaller more nimble development teams like ArcGIS Explorer and the API teams) in the coming year.
From a user standpoint, Microsoft seems to favor ESRI’s product (though one could say they were at the ESRI UC so we’ll have to see how Microsoft plays MapIt moving forward). Enterprise customers seem to prefer ESRI, but MapIt isn’t aimed at them (I can’t tell you how many times I heard ESRI say that I didn’t need MapIt because I already had everything I needed; ArcGIS Server). Thus this is a play for the market outside their traditional space and one that is possibly very disruptive if they can pull it off. At the very least, MapDotNet says bring it on! So we are starting to see the Microsoft stack get very spatial.
SQL Server 2008 Spatial + SharePoint + Silverlight = GIS
The only thing this can result in is better development tools for programmers and thus better tools for users.