Apparently we release Microsoft Office Live today, which is something I’ve been really looking forward to. In preparation for the release I was doing a little research, reading through what some of the pundits are saying about it and trying to get a clear idea on exactly what it is going to offer. One of the best articles I found was on “Microsoft Monitor” here:

 Microsoft Monitor: What Office Live Is

I noticed that in this post Joe had actually gone through and created a new Office Live “customer facing” site here:

BarterBahn

And I decided to head on over and check it out. The instant I saw the “MSN Weather” section at the bottom I thought “Hmmm…that looks a little like a web part”. Viewing the page source gave me a few more clues, with “WebPartZones” and a reference to “OWS.js”. This leads me to believe I can, at least partially, answer Joe’s question, what is Office Live? Well, the customer facing web site component, is SharePoint. A fancy customised SharePoint Team Site.

This is great news as it means:

1) It is going to increase the number of “SharePoint” users dramatically
2) The ecosystem supporting and developing for SharePoint is going to grow dramatically
3) Demonstrates the incredible scalability of the SharePoint platform
4) Will improve the product. Experiences gained from running SharePoint as such a service will be fed back into the core product.

Anyway, all this is still just speculation, at least until more information becomes available (maybe it’s already out there and I have just missed it) but I just wanted to share that quick bit of research.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not in any way connected to the Office Live folks.