Archive for May, 2006

SharePoint Conference 2006 Wrap-up

May 25, 2006

Here’s my final thoughts from last week’s inaugural SharePoint Conference.

Aside from the marketing fluff, I found the event to be extremely informative. It was fun to hear about SharePoint’s new directions.

You can read more about it here.

In any case, my three take-aways are:

  1. Gunning for Google
  2. SharePoint Designer versus Expression
  3. David Letterman Style Feature List

Item 1 – Gunning for Google:

It is clear that Microsoft’s Enterprise Search engineers are gunning for Google.

The word of the day was “Search Relevance”. David Mowatt’s search drill down session covered some of the details without revealing any “secret sauce” algorithms. The slide deck of his session is here.

It seems inevitable that Microsoft’s SharePoint Search solution will steal significant market share from Google within one year of MOSS “go live”.

For enterprise search, the Google Search Appliance will be tough to beat. This Map Reduce white paper is highly regarded even within Microsoft.

Item 2 – SharePoint Designer versus Expression:

An interesting story is developing around the new SharePoint Designer (formerly FrontPage) versus the Expression tool set.

Expression is all about XAML whereas SharePoint Designer is basically old school asp.

The future for SharePoint Developers is XAML web parts via Expression or Visual Studio 2005. I am curious to see how it will evolve.

Item 3 – David Letterman Style Feature List:

During Bill G’s keynote, he gave a Lettermen-style Top 5 SharePoint Feature List.

Top 5 things Bill G loves about SharePoint 2007

  1. SharePoint for Composite Apps
  2. Search and Business Data Catalog
  3. Client Integration
  4. Excel Services
  5. Community (Wikis, Blogs, RSS)

This is my Top 8 SharePoint Feature list.

  1. Security Trimming – users have restricted view of links/search results.
  2. Document Workflow
  3. Wikis, Blogs, RSS
  4. Business Data Catalog – facilitates “no code” integration with other apps.
  5. Knowledge Network – 3 degrees of separation skill set social network.
  6. Excel Services
  7. Search Relevance
  8. Groove Services – peer to peer file sharing for disconnected mobile users

I spoke to Bill Gates Today

May 17, 2006

I’m attending the SharePoint 2006 Conference in Bellevue, WA this week. I’ll post some details later in the week.

I’ll try not to drink too much Koolaid but the new Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) is impressive.

But let’s get back on topic, I spoke to the big cheese Bill G. today.

He gave a keynote and then opened the floor for Q&A.

Bill G. Q&A sessions are a lot of fun.

I’ve attended a few and I usually know how to jump in quick to get my question in.

My question was about the struggling SPOT Watch/MSN Direct product.

A transcript of the keynote and Q&A session is posted here. Look for the "SPOT watch owner" question.

Here’s my dialog with him:

I’m a proud SPOT watch owner, and I’d love to use SPOT watch as a distribution channel, maybe integrate with RSS. What’s the plan? Was it a response to Scott McNealy’s Java ring or was it really part of the Windows everywhere strategy; give me your roadmap.

Well, I’m the right person to ask because I’m a SPOT believer. For those of you who don’t know, this is the wristwatch project that Microsoft did where we use FM signals to actually broadcast data, and so if you have this watch you get stock updates and weather and news and things. And you just go to the Internet and pick what you care about, what sports or what traffic things, and then your watch gets a message that tells it what things to display for you.

We got off to a slow start on SPOT because our watches were a little too thick and we didn’t have the right distribution channel, and so now there’s a new generation of the SPOT watches coming, actually some color display and things. So we’re pushing ahead with that, but it did not get to the mainstream in the first version, so we had to step back and do some of the more ergonomic design.

It’s a perfect example of a sort of subscription, because as you go to the Internet and pick what you care about, that’s like an RSS subscription, and the idea is that if we can get that to large numbers, then even corporate data feeds, you could go up and sign up to those and have those come down on your watch as well, but we need to get more of a phenomena around that, and so we’re taking another shot at that.