With the release of the Exchange 2010 beta, formerly called Exchange 14, Microsoft has spilled a few more beans about its Office 14 roadmap and left itself in a funny predicament with SharePoint's new name. But first, the beans ... details vague enough to give Microsoft the wiggle room it needs and specific enough to give enterprise users a heads-up for budgetary planning: the company will begin releasing new versions of Office-related products this year, Microsoft senior vice president Chris Capossela, said in a press release.
"Exchange 2010 will be the first product in this lineup, entering beta for customers to download today. Exchange 2010 will become available in the second half of 2009. Office 2010 — including Office Web applications, SharePoint Server 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010 — will enter a technical preview in the third quarter of 2009 and will release to manufacturing in the first half of 2010."
When Microsoft officially named its Office 14 product line to "2010", each product took on the 2010 suffix. This created a little problem. SharePoint 14 became Microsoft SharePoint 2010. Thomas Rizzo, senior director of the SharePoint team felt the need for a blog post that explains and defends the name. He notes that,
"No one should worry that SharePoint doesn’t work great with Office 2010 since we removed Office from the name."
He also explains that Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 had to be out, too, because the acronym for that would be MSS and that acronym is already taken by Microsoft Search Server. Could Microsoft SharePoint 2010 be reduced to MS? Obviously not. That's the commonly used acronym for Microsoft. Which leaves SharePoint naked ... no acronym to cover it. So Rizzo implores us to
"Just remember, SharePoint is SharePoint is SharePoint."
... or maybe it should become SP, because no star Microsoft product should have to go by its full name.
As for officially announced details of what we can expect in SharePoint 2010, not much was said. Capossela hinted that Microsoft intends to make licensing changes so that users will pay the same per-seat costs no matter how SharePoint (SP?) is delivered. He said,
"For example, Exchange 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010 give users the same value whether deployed on-premises, as a service from Microsoft and industry partners, or a mix of both."
According to a SharePoint Buzz blog, posted in November, some of the features people are expecting include SharePoint Web Parts for FAST ESP, backup/restore/rollback and snapshot backups with virtual load balancing, support for JQuery and native support for ODF and PDF. The blog also wonders if SharePoint 2010 will only be available in 64-bit versions.
What would you like to see in the next version of SharePoint ... and what are you going to call the product?
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