A second Microsoft roadmap session I attended at last weeks’ SPC was session SPC271, David Pae’s “SharePoint 2010: Improving Productivity with Social.” It was actually somewhere between a roadmap session and a case study session, with examples of social computing inside Microsoft (and of course, Contoso) that illustrate where SharePoint 2010 and complementary products can foster social computing initiatives.
David Pae and colleague Paul Javid (Social Product Manager) walked us through the history of social computing, Microsoft’s Enterprise Social Strategy, some specific examples and demonstrations of social capabilities of SharePoint and other complementary Microsoft technologies.
The most noteworthy things from this session:
- A REALLY cool demo of Lync doing real-time English-Spanish translation of an instant messaging thread – I’m dying to see more of this, and think that the Lync/SharePoint combination provides an unparalleled communications and collaboration platform.
- A good audience question about a limitation of the “noteboard” capability in SharePoint 2010. Out of the box, it is not possible to comment on a comment, or to “like” or rate a comment. [This question underscored how hard the presenters’ job is in a conference where Microsoft has committed to not discuss product futures, and it’s not fair to certain ISVs to discuss/promote others. (cough: NewsGator!)]
- The Microsoft products NOT mentioned. Although Microsoft does a nice job of presenting a story that incorporates SharePoint, Exchange and Lync (on-premise or in-cloud or hybrid), the following technologies with social or collaboration indications were prominently NOT mentioned:
- Skype, a social and collaboration tool with a huge user base, but what feels like a lack of an enterprise integration story ready to be told by Microsoft (whether for statutory or strategic reasons)?
- SharePoint Workspace – how does the offline client, a necessity to many mobile information workers, impact the social computing experience?
- OneNote – shared note-taking is at least as social as IM, and the syncing capabilities with SharePoint create interesting opportunities.
Overall, this session provided a solid overview of out-of-the-box social computing capabilities of SharePoint, although not too much of it would be new to our clients running SharePoint 2010. There will be, however, some more details gleaned from customer case study sessions (still to come)...