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.