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Sharepoint 2012–Keynote

10,000 attendees from 85 separate countries.  Crowds acres thick.  Badges swinging off backpacks rich with ISV paid ads.  Crappy breakfast food.

Ah yes..I’m back at a Microsoft conference.  This time, its Sharepoint 2012 where we are big braining on everything related to Sharepoint 15-2013-whatever.

The keynote was great -  not incredibly polished like the Partner meetings or sounding like a bad Russian gangster movie like Dynamics conferences and, yes, it did have a failed Surface demo.  But, the product showed REALLY well and the changes in 2013 are epic.

Here’s my shortlist:

  • MySite gets a major respect upgrade and now becomes the focus of the entire experience.  It concentrates tasks across sites (through Exchange), it allows document follows AND site follows, it allows for site recommendations and TOTALLY makes easier the ability to upload and create documents.  Further, the newsfeed, sites, tags, etc all work better and they’ve reduced the need to go to the site settings page.  Combined with document preview windows, its really, really nicely done.
  • Everything is more interconnected.  SkyDrive Pro, SkyDrive, Outlook, Office – all of it works together across all platforms (including iOS) to get at and view documents.  Further, they’ve reduced the dependence on Active X and are support more open protocols (HTML, REST, etc) to allow for browser independence.
  • Disk space usage is lowered through creative storage (like diff’ng docs rather than storing complete versions) and back end server improvements make for a better performing UI (faster refreshes on changed data rather than full page refresh).
  • Search is king.  FAST is cool.
  • The Yammer integration is still new and no one really knows what it means.  However, everyone is really excited about it (by everyone, I mean MS people).  The REALLY big news is that it will still be a standalone offering AND its free to all Office 365 E1 to E4 subscribers.
  • Dynamics got two, count ‘em – two, mentions during the preso as an app that will really shine with Sharepoint.  
  • Office 365 is the chosen platform for deployment with a faster release cycle and more obvious support from MS.  They talked nice about on-premise deployment but the ENTIRE focus is on O365.

That last message was particularly clear in the dev portion of the keynote wherein they discussed the app model changing to an Azure or O365 deployed model.  Oh yeah, don’t forget Azure – they are definitely back dooring it through Sharepoint.

More to come…

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