Just as Microsoft announced that it’s the “devices and services” company, the SharePoint team surprised the world by releasing its 2013 version to manufacturing months sooner than expected. The bits will be available for download to MSDN subscribers today, 10/25/12. This release will change the game by placing an emphasis on cloud services.
It’s been a long hard road for SharePoint online. With the BPOS release, Microsoft struggled to build a multi-tenant environment at mammoth scale based on a product that was designed for individual large enterprises. The result was that only a fraction of SharePoint functionality was available, upgrades were slow, and the offering was less than competitive with the pure-play cloud vendors Microsoft had in its crosshairs. When BPOS released, SharePoint 2010 was already well along in its development; the multi-tenant story improved but was still somewhat limited.
SharePoint 2013 will come closer than ever to providing parity, or in some cases a superior experience, for SharePoint online and other cloud-based SharePoint offerings. Our clients , most of whom host SharePoint on premises, are going to have to rally to host a product that’s designed primarily for the cloud. Some may consider letting Microsoft host SharePoint 2013, which will be a more tempting option than ever before as available features become richer and hosting becomes more complex. For those who stay on premises, SharePoint 2013′s cloud emphasis will have a number of advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few:
There are a number of compelling new features in SharePoint 2013, such as a much more capable Web Content Management offering and a huge leap forward in social collaboration. We expect to see a lot of demand for SharePoint 2013, both on premises and in Office 365. Success will depend on taking a thoughtful approach, beginning by mapping your enterprise roadmap and existing SharePoint environment to the new SharePoint offerings.
If you’ll be at the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas in November, please stop by our booth, #666 - we’d love to discuss it with you!
(cross-posted to http://blog.bluemetal.com/)