Today was the day the SharePoint community finally got to see what SharePoint 2010 is really going to be about. Microsoft, in its keynote note session didn't make a big deal out of it. But for a large number of community members, the SharePoint MVP's in particular it was like liberation day. Finally the NDA is lifted; we can freely talk about SharePoint 2010! And it was really good to see how slick the demo's went, I must admit I was nervous, the build they gave us in July was great to get your feet wet but also had a lot of rough edges. I go on record having been very positive about the ribbon in the Office Client applications but not feeling all that pumped about the ribbon in SharePoint through the browser. After today, I feel much more comfortable, I still have to get my hands on a recent build (did not have time for any hands-on labs yet) but what I've seen so far looks really slick and performs great.
This morning's keynote was largely about taking the covers off and the sessions today were all overviews on a high level, tomorrow we'll get into the real details. I'm sure the net by now has plenty fo news around 2010, but here's a few announcements that caught my attention.
I'm not sure how to interpret it just yet, but Steve Balmer put a lot of focus on SharePoint 2010 for Internet sites, which according to him would be at an attractive price point next year, it will be interesting to see how that pans out. Windows SharePoint Services is now longer named as such as an SKU but is now called SharePoint Foundation and remains part of Windows Server, 'for free'. What also stood out is the impressive effort that's been put into the Developer story in Visual Studio 2010 which is released today as beta 2. We'll have to wait a few weeks until we can use it with SharePoint though, the public beta, with which the beta 2 bits of Visual Studio will work from a SharePoint perspective will be available in November.
Another great improvement is the End User customisation story, after seeing so many clients and users struggle with simple things like putting images on their homepage or laying out their Web Parts the way they want it, it is good to see that the default homepage for sites is actually a WiKi page. The functionality WiKi pages deliver now allow for very easy customisations, like drag, drop and resize a picture from anywhere, easy editing and just adding lists and views precisely where you need them without the need for Web Part zones or SharePoint Designer. Very cool stuff! What also interesting to note is that there's full REST access to lists, list items and Office documents. So adding a chart from an excel sheet on your team site homepage is as easy as copy and pasting a hyperlink in the middle of your text how's that for ease of use. I'll see if I can find some time in the few weeks to post some examples of that type thing.
Anyway, I'm off to enjoy the Las Vegas nightlife and to prepare for another session packed day tomorrow.