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19

Oct

SharePoint 2010: The wait is finally over!

By the time you read this, I will be in Las Vegas about to attend the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2009 where SharePoint 2010 will finally be launched to the public. It’s been over 12 months since I started looking at the next version of SharePoint and we’ve been exploring the beta releases at Intergen for the last few months with much excitement, and, yes, a touch of frustration, which is always present with beta testing.

Now that it’s the eve of the official launch I will soon be able to stop saying, “I know about that, but I can’t tell you yet.” This blog post will be the last time I can’t tell you anything yet…

It’s interesting that the conference is being held in Las Vegas, arguably the smoke and mirrors capital of the world. Or should I be talking about the marvel of a city so exciting that has grown out of nothing? Are Microsoft and SharePoint going to fit into Vegas with a dramatic stage show starring big name performers or is it going to be the unveiling of something with real substance?

Well, we’ve got Steve Ballmer performing the opening keynote which is guaranteed to be a great show. And we’ve got our own Intergen Director Chris Auld presenting two sessions in his enthusiastic, arm-waving style. So we might not be guaranteed a lot of substance here (joke), but we’ve got big names who’ll give us big performances.

To find substance we will turn to the next version of the fastest selling Microsoft server platform of all time: SharePoint 2010. Like a second time bride, SharePoint will be made to look glamorous, surrounded in lights and excitement. But when we lift the veil what will we find?

Now it’s Microsoft’s job, like a desperate father, to tell you that under that veil you’ll find all your wildest dreams, the solution to every problem. They’ll cover it in fake tan and lipstick, hype it up, and get everyone crying in the aisle – that’s what they do!

A conference as large and important as this one is just like any wedding, carefully prepared down to the finest detail and not without some well-received flourishes of cliché. But I for one love weddings – the hopes, the dreams, the public declarations of love. And I love these conferences for exactly the same reasons.

Microsoft is selling us a vision and a dream of a better tomorrow. Like any relationship, there are things we gloss over, things we learn to love or magically ignore for 50 years. Quirks we learn to keep away from and issues we work to change. But with a level of commitment, a dash of optimism and a sense of humour we know we’re onto a great thing!

So, yeah, Microsoft and SharePoint will have their day in Vegas, and I’ll go along and throw some rice and have drink. But also do my job as a SharePoint MVP, as a Microsoft Gold Partner, and as a passionate New Zealander! I’ll get under that veil and... Hang on, this whole wedding/bride analogy risks sinking to South Park humour.

The point is that, while I’m good friends with SharePoint, I’m not married to it. I stand at a distance far enough removed to acknowledge what works and what doesn’t. It’s my job and Intergen’s role to transform the hype of Microsoft and SharePoint 2010 into a story that works in New Zealand. It’s my job as SharePoint’s friend to be honest about its faults and positive about its strengths. Just like there are some friends you’ll lend a DVD to and some you won’t, some you’ll spend a weekend with and some are strictly in four hours or less doses.

So, starting in the last week of October, I’ll be sharing with all those who care to listen the new and improved features and some of the areas that still fall short and have room for improvement. I’ll share some of the adventures SharePoint 2010 and I have already been on during the ongoing beta phases and I’ll demonstrate some of the truly cool features that Microsoft has every right to hype with smoke machines and lights in Las Vegas.

Posted by: Mark Orange, Practice Principal for Portals, Content & Collaboration | 19 October 2009

Tags: SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Conference


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