It’s been almost two years since the SharePoint 2007 technologies were released. With Windows 7 plans solidifying, what do we know about the next versions of Office and SharePoint?
Very Little Detail on the Web
From what I can find on the web, relatively nothing. The last official word I heard was from Bill Gates himself in Redmond. I was in the room next door when he talked about Improvements to the List Architecture, but revealed little else. And I could find nothing else official. Peter Seale has some predictions in this September post.
Limited Testing Release Soon
The latest unofficial news is from Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet in August. She got her hands on a leaked internal memo that she quotes in the post. If it’s true, the Office 14 TAP program began accepting nominations from Microsoft Employees in May and stopped accepting nominations in August.
If Microsoft hasn’t even started this kind of testing, it’s safe to say the full release is a long way off.
I’ll make some guesses, please add yours in the comments seciont:
SharePoint 2010 is a likely guess for a name or release year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the name slips to SharePoint 2012.
- Three to five years is typical of Microsoft Server releases. Think Windows Server versions 2000, 2003, 2008; SQL Server versions 2000, 2005, 2008; and SharePoint versions 2001, 2003 and 2007.
More FAST integration will come before the next version
- Think SharePoint Web Parts for FAST ESP but even bigger
- Silverlight integration will be improved before the next version
Master data management for SharePoint may be another WinFS which sounds big, dreams big, but doesn’t make it into production code
- It’s safe to say better rich client interfaces, search and performance improvements, SharePoint Designer features and robustness and offline capabilities will be a part of the next version
- The server software will be announced as 64 bit only.
- Notice, I say announced. 64 bit may be the future, but I predict some future backpedaling on this one.
- Service Orient Architecture or SOA is huge and getting bigger.
- "Gartner sees the use of SOA for mission critical applications ramping from 50 percent in 2007 to 80 percent by 2010." [it.toolbox.com]
Update July 13th, 2009: It’s been eight months since this speculative post with a name guess that turned out to be correct. If you’re interested in SharePoint 2010 check out my series of posts including the lates on the SharePoint 2010 Sneak Peek and Office 2010 Free Web Edition.