It seems like a fairly standard press release:
Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates kicked off the first global Microsoft® SharePoint® Conference to a sold-out audience of 1,300 customers and industry partners today, spotlighting Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 as an important part of the 2007 Microsoft Office system and the company’s vision for information management. In his keynote address, Gates discussed how SharePoint technologies play a critical role in enabling “People-Ready” businesses, as well as how the company is investing heavily in Office SharePoint Server 2007 as a unified, integrated platform for collaboration, business intelligence, portals, business processes, enterprise content management (ECM) and search, benefiting both customers and partners.
Yeah, yeah – Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) is the free Microsoft add-on workgroup collaboration product for a Windows server. It has a non-free enterprise cousin called SharePoint Portal Server 2003 (to be replaced by SharePoint Server 2007) that ties all the workgroups together. That’s not news. What is news are the acceptance statistics that are also reported:
With more than 75 million Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 licenses sold to date, Gates also outlined the top areas of Office SharePoint Server 2007 that are resonating well with the SharePoint community. Of particular note in Gates’ keynote address was the new Business Data Catalog, which enables organizations to search for and surface data from line-of-business systems.
And with 75 million SharePoint Portal Server licenses, it sounds like they have a real hit on their hands. I’m frankly surprised – any small group with a Windows server can set up WSS for quick, easy, and cheap collaboration, but 75 million paid licenses for the enterprise server? IBM’s Lotus Notes (aka Domino), the long time enterprise collaboration champ, has got more than Microsoft Exchange to worry about. One final note about accounting – SharePoint Portal Server is actually an Office Server, so the results go to the Information Worker segment bottom line.
There’s more in the press release about the partner ecosystem and the dates for SharePoint Server 2007 are:
SharePoint Server 2007 is currently in limited beta testing with customers. A broader public beta is expected later this spring.
There’s also a press Q&A on Enterprise Content Management (ECM) which is a SPS 2007 target.