The 2012 SharePoint Conference kicked off this morning with a lot of energy and a 10,000+ crowd. Of course the bits have already been released and documentation has been out for months, but this conference is about “seeing is believing” and getting the messaging around the new version.
And it only took about five minutes after the music stopped to get to the messaging: Experiences, innovation, and ecosystem.
Many of the improvements to SharePoint scalability and manageability are due to Microsoft’s own need to make it ready for the cloud. It seems about half the dev team was focused on that.
My applause-o-meter judges the two biggest applause lines were for demonstrating dragging and dropping a document to a browser without ActiveX and showing a load test demonstrating SQL server growth is way less with the new change-only storage model. Saying that the cloud demo was live against Amsterdam data center got good applause too. Pointing out that you can use any web design tool only got a smattering of applause, but when it was added that meant you don’t have to use SharePoint Designer the applause doubled.
Unfortunately there was no applause for Yammer integration. I think people were confused in the integration demo about what Yammer was doing and what SharePoint was not doing. The audience only applauded when Jeff Teper described how they will include Yammer in SharePoint Online licensing.
I liked that they did a last minute pruning of topics because it forced them to prioritize what to talk about. That was lots of social, lots of development (Azure), quite a bit of cloud, but not as much mobile although a Surface interface was demoed. Cloud and social come out of the box – will mobile? Microsoft promises native apps beginning in 2013, although I haven’t heard what areas of functionality they will cover. I look forward to finding out more on day 2.