Microsoft revealed yesterday that the Office 2010 family of products has been released to manufacturing (RTM):
I am very excited to share some great news with you. Earlier today we reached the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) milestone for Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010!
So when they actually be available?
Our Volume License customers with active Software Assurance (SA) on these products will be one of the first to receive the 2010 set of products. They will be able to download the products in English via the Volume Licensing Service Center starting April 27. Customers without SA will be able to purchase the new products through Volume Licensing from Microsoft partners starting May 1.
Earlier this year we announced that we will officially launch Office 2010 to our business customers on May 12 with Stephen Elop, President of Microsoft’s Business Division, delivering a keynote as part of our virtual launch. Our virtual launch will allow people from around the globe to participate in our launch by going to http://www.the2010event.com. The virtual launch site will showcase product demos, customer and partner testimonials, and interviews with product managers and executives, and we hope this will give you another great way to explore, learn, and get excited about the 2010 releases.
Office 2010 will first become available in retail stores in June in the US, and customers can pre-order Office 2010 today at the Microsoft Store to receive Office when it becomes available.
After a variety of online rumors that June 2010 would be the ship date for Office 2010, a Microsoft spokesman has confirmed the date to Betanews. Less clear however, was what Office features will be included in the free Web version, Office Web Applications:
"The key to what will and what won’t be in the Web Apps is really based on customer feedback and usage scenarios," "Microsoft communications senior director Janice] Kapner told us. "So if you think about it, we have 500 million users, we talk to them a lot about what it is they do and don’t do, and will and won’t do. This is our first shipment of the Web Apps, but we’ve been very realistic about how we think people will use these things, and try to supply features and functionality that will support those usage scenarios." As an example, Kapner cited a case of remote users being able to check the progress of a PowerPoint presentation being constructed by the team at home, via a Web browser on a PC or mobile phone.
That continues to suggest that Office Web Apps, while free for use by the general public, will not be intended for creative purposes above and beyond basic, simple documents. In fact, Microsoft now appears to be busy constructing legitimate use-case scenarios for preferring Office 2010 over Office Web Apps.
Or rephrased, Microsoft is busy trying to figure out how much they can reasonably cripple the Office Web Applications so as not to roast their Office cash cow. Do not confuse the free version with the business versions of Office Web Applications that are not free and require a SharePoint server on the backend.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer used this week’s Microsoft SharePoint Conference to reveal a bit about SharePoint Server 2010:
Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer announced that the public beta of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010 will become available in November, and revealed some of the new SharePoint Server 2010 capabilities for the first time.
SharePoint Server is one of the fastest-growing products in Microsoft’s history, with over $1.3 billion in revenue, representing over a 20 percent growth over the past year. According to IDC, Microsoft attained a significant share of the collaborative content workspace market in 2008, and had the highest growth rate among top vendors with its Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.
During his keynote address, Ballmer talked broadly about SharePoint Server as a business collaboration platform and highlighted three key areas. One was how organizations can respond quickly to business needs with an improved developer platform that makes it easier to build rich content and collaboration applications. Another topic was the enhanced Internet site capabilities that help businesses drive revenue and retain customers on a single platform. The third was the choice and flexibility between on-premises and cloud solutions.
I’ve never found SharePoint Server particularly desirable for an Internet Web site, but as a intranet collaboration platform for an enterprise that uses Windows scaffolding (not just PCs) its attractions have definitely been recognized by large customers (although there are dissenters , ).
Hit the initial link above or the SharePoint Team blog for a survey of what is new in SharePoint 2010, but the key enhancements to my mind are the advent of real developer tools:
New SharePoint tools in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, giving developers a premier experience with the tools they know and trust
Business Connectivity Services, which allow developers to connect capabilities to line-of-business data or Web services in SharePoint Server and the Office client
Rich APIs and support for Silverlight, representational state transfer (REST) and Language-Integrated Query (LINQ), to help developers rapidly build applications on the SharePoint platform
And Microsoft hasn’t given up on SharePoint as a foundation for external websites – they claim to have two new SKUs for "Internet-facing sites, including an on-premises and hosted offer."
So when exactly will SharePoint 2010 be available? Microsoft says the first half of 2010 and rumor has it as late 1st half. And don’t forget that it will be 64-bit only.
Microsoft and Nokia announced today "an alliance that is set to deliver a groundbreaking, enterprise-grade solution for mobile productivity" on Nokia phones.
Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will begin collaborating immediately on the design, development and marketing of productivity solutions for the mobile professional, bringing Microsoft Office Mobile and Microsoft business communications, collaboration and device management software to Nokia’s Symbian devices. These solutions will be available for a broad range of Nokia smartphones starting with the company’s business-optimized range, Nokia Eseries. The two companies will also market these solutions to businesses, carriers and individuals.
This announcement builds on the existing work Nokia is doing by optimizing access to e-mail and other personal information with Exchange ActiveSync. Next year, Nokia intends to start shipping Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile on its smartphones, followed by other Office applications and related software and services in the future. These will include:
- The ability to view, edit, create and share Office documents on more devices in more places with mobile-optimized versions of Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft OneNote
- Enterprise instant messaging and presence, and optimized conferencing and collaboration experience with Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile
- Mobile access to intranet and extranet portals built on Microsoft SharePoint Server
- Enterprise device management with Microsoft System Center
Nokia is the leading worldwide provider of smartphones and Microsoft’s own smartphone efforts with Windows Mobile are not sufficient for them to want to shut out Nokia business users in order to maintain an exclusive for their own products.