Microsoft Corp. demonstrated an array of new product enhancements in SharePoint 2013 and highlighted significant investments in social, cloud and mobile capabilities during its SharePoint Conference 2012.
SharePoint is one of Microsoft’s most popular business products ever. The company said that it has grown to more than US$2 billion, adjusted, in annual revenue.
“This growth underscores the power and passion of the SharePoint community of customers, partners and developers,” said Jeff Teper, corporate vice president, Microsoft. “The new SharePoint is a pivotal release that not only delivers an amazing amount of innovation today, it lays the foundation for exciting new innovations in the future.”
New product enhancements in SharePoint 2013 include:
• A new and simplified user experience. Share documents inside or outside your organization with a single click, drag and drop content into document libraries, edit lists inline, and create new sites in seconds.
• Document store and sync. Use SkyDrive Pro to store and sync your documents across all your devices.
• Task management. Organize your work with task lists and project timelines. Consolidate task management across SharePoint, Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Project.
• Smarter search. Find what you’re looking for with the new and improved FAST Search. Customize and narrow your search for more relevant results and discover related people and documents with recommendations.
• Core services. Manage risk with eDiscovery across SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Lync and file shares. Create dynamic websites with cross-site publishing and enhanced Web content management. Improve scalability and performance with a new cloud architecture.
Microsoft also unveiled the company’s vision for the future of enterprise social. “We envision a world in which social is woven into the apps you use every day — where people work together using new experiences that combine the power of social with collaboration, email and unified communications,” Teper said.
As a first step toward that vision, the company shared a road map for SharePoint and Yammer integration. Today, customers can connect the two systems with Yammer Web parts and the new Yammer Open Graph capabilities. As a next step, Microsoft is investing in unified identity, integrated document management and feed aggregation.
To align with this vision and road map, Microsoft also announced changes to Yammer packaging and pricing, consolidating Yammer’s paid services into a single offering, Yammer Enterprise, and reducing the price of the service from US$15 to US$3 per user per month. For Enterprise Agreement customers, it further announced plans to ship Yammer Enterprise with Microsoft SharePoint Online and the Office 365 Enterprise plans with no change in price for existing customers.
“This means customers get the best cloud productivity service and the best enterprise social service together — Office 365 plus Yammer,” said David Sacks, corporate vice president, Microsoft. “These packaging changes are just a first step into a future where Yammer will power new social experiences across your business applications.”
In addition to broad investments in SharePoint Online, SharePoint 2013 also introduces a new cloud app model for the more than 700,000 developers building on SharePoint. The new app model and a new Office Store make it easier for developers to build, buy, deploy and manage applications using existing Web development skills.
Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president in Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business division, announced new tools for developing apps for Office and SharePoint with Visual Studio 2012. They work with “Napa” tools for online development of Office 365 apps, include templates and designers to facilitate app development, and support the LightSwitch HTML client for easy creation of data-centric business apps in SharePoint 2013.
The company also introduced new native SharePoint mobile apps to give people access to SharePoint news feeds and documents on Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS and Android devices. All apps will work with both SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online.