Last year, when Microsoft acquired Yammer (the service for building enterprise social networks), it already had own the own social network based on SharePoint (now it's called SharePoint Newsfeed). And that's OK, because Microsoft bought Yammer not for the engine, but for the customer base and the image of social vendor. But now, it seems, Microsoft doesn't know what to do with two almost identical solutions. In June, Office 365 users got the opportunity to replace SharePoint Newsfeed to Yammer, and Microsoft continues to insist that Yammer - is its future and that soon Yammer will become the platform for all its business apps. But on the other hand SharePoint Newsfeed also continues to evolve. For example, today SharePoint Newsfeed app for Windows 8 has been launched. And it's very similar to Yammer app for Windows (guess where is what on the screenshots).
Perhaps for many people it will be a surprise, but Microsoft Office 365 allows to create a public website for your company (thanks to SharePoint Online component). The practice of building websites on SharePoint existed for a long time. But it was quite expensive (due to the cost of SharePoint licenses and Windows hosting). Second, SharePoint was originally designed for intranet portals, and for public sites it's not very appropriate. Therefore, only large companies (for whatever reasons) used SharePoint as a website engine. But with the appearance of Office 365 things changed to better. Having Office 365 subscription, small business owner can create a company website for free. And the only technical skills he needs - is Word editing. Watch the video:
Perhaps the two most famous brands in the history of enterprise software, Lotus and SharePoint, will soon disappear. We mean brands, not specific products. Because by renaming their products, vendors try to erase the association with outdated technologies in customer brain. For example, Lotus appeared back in the 80-s years of last century. In 1995 IBM acquired Lotus Development and began selling their products Lotus Notes/Domino. In the following years most IBM collaboration systems moved under the Lotus umbrella. But last year the revolution occurred. The last child of the Lotus family - SaaS suite LotusLive was renamed to SmartCloud for Social Business. And then the name Lotus was removed from other products. The final nail was the recent launch of Notes/Domino 9.0 Social Edition (without Lotus).
A month after the release of Office 365 home version, Microsoft is launching the updated version of Office 365 for Business. Just like in its previous incarnation, the business version besides the office editors (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, InfoPath) contains the email server Exchange, SharePoint portal and communications system Lync. Plus all sorts of IT-friendly things like Active Directory integration and the Admin Console. And as usual, Microsoft comes up with confusing variety of subscription plans. For example, some editions don't include desktop Office apps and some - include. Some editions can be installed on 5 computers, some - just on one. Some prices are per month, some - per year. And of course, every edition has different limit in the number of users. The price of Office 365 Small Business Premium, which provides the same functionality as Google Apps, is $150/year per user (Google Apps costs $50).
Bill Gates once said, "We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10." Therefore, probably, our expectations for 2013 are exaggerated. But, perhaps, this year, something unexpected will happen and change the rules in the Enterprise-market for the next 10 years.
At the SharePoint Conference 2012 Microsoft revealed some new facts about the upcoming SharePoint 2013. But nothing specific has been announced - just few promises. The exact release date is also still unknown. Microsoft's corporate vice president of the Office Division Kris Koenigsbauer promises a launch during the first fiscal quarter of 2013, which falls between October 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. Now about the Yammer. As expected, Microsoft will integrate this social intranet service (acquired in June) into SharePoint. The integration will be done via Yammer Web Parts and Yammer Open Graph. Got it? And soon (Microsoft says) SharePoint will become a system "powered by Yammer". Ok, let's look what is the real sense of integration between SharePoint and Yammer.
Together with Office 2013 Microsoft unveiled the beta version of SharePoint 2013. This is still an early version, and we won't review it so far (in particular, it's still no information about possible integration with Yammer). But one thing is this beta has already attracted great public interest - SkyDrive Pro. We have previously reported that SharePoint is being attacked by the army of file synchronization services called "Dropbox for Enterprise", and that SkyDrive's technology should help SharePoint to overcome these attacks. And so it happens, but as usual, Microsoft has added an element of chaos to this project. Why was it necessary to create a separate service called SkyDrive Pro? Why they just not added simple file sync functionality to SharePoint without inventing new titles? It's even more confusing as SkyDrive Pro won't replace the existing off-line client - SharePoint Workspace, but will be used along with it.