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Tuesday, October 20, 2009
 Microsoft Unveils SharePoint Server 2010 and Showcases New Functionality
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Message Text: Today, at Microsoft's SharePoint Conference, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer announced that the public beta of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft Office 2010 will become available in November, and revealed some of the new SharePoint Server 2010 capabilities for the first time.

"By taming the overflow of information across systems and technologies, SharePoint enables organizations to thrive," Ballmer said. "SharePoint 2010 is the biggest and most important release of SharePoint to date. When paired with Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint 2010 will transform efficiency by connecting workers across a single collaboration platform for business."

SharePoint Server is one of the fastest-growing products in Microsoft?s history, with over $1.3 billion in revenue, representing over a 20 percent growth over the past year.

During his keynote address, Ballmer talked broadly about SharePoint Server as a business collaboration platform and highlighted three key areas. One was how organizations can respond quickly to business needs with an improved developer platform that makes it easier to build rich content and collaboration applications. Another topic was the enhanced Internet site capabilities that help businesses drive revenue and retain customers on a single platform. The third was the choice and flexibility between on-premises and cloud solutions. At the event, Microsoft showcased the breadth of SharePoint Server 2010 that ranges from wikis to workflows, while Ballmer?s keynote address highlighted features and capabilities such as these:

- A new ribbon user interface that makes end users more productive and customization of SharePoint sites easy

- Deep Office integration through social tagging, backstage integration and document life-cycle management

- Built-in support for rich media such as video, audio and Silverlight, making it easy to build dynamic Web sites

- New Web content management features with built-in accessibility through Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, multilingual support and one-click page layout, enabling anyone to access SharePoint Server sites

- New SharePoint tools in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

- Business Connectivity Services, which allow developers to connect capabilities to line-of-business data or Web services in SharePoint Server and the Office client

- Rich APIs and support for Silverlight, representational state transfer (REST) and Language-Integrated Query (LINQ), to help developers rapidly build applications on the SharePoint platform

- Enterprise features in SharePoint Online such as Excel Services and InfoPath Forms Services, which make it simple to use, share, secure and manage interactive forms across an organization

- The addition of two new SharePoint SKUs for Internet-facing sites, including an on-premises and hosted offer

Microsoft SharePoint 2010 is part of the next wave of Microsoft Office-related products, which includes Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and Microsoft Visio 2010.

The public betas of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Office 2010, Project 2010 and Visio 2010 will become available in November 2009. Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 will be available in the first half of 2010.

Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Deliver Beta 2 in Final Stretch to March 22 Launch

Microsoft also announced the immediate availability of Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 and Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Beta 2 to MSDN subscribers; general availability will follow on Oct. 21. The company also outlined a simplified product lineup and pricing options for Visual Studio 2010 as well as new benefits for MSDN subscribers, including the Ultimate Offer, available to all active MSDN Premium subscribers at the official product launch on March 22, 2010.

New testing options in Visual Studio 2010 are expected to help ensure quality code, Microsoft said. Enhancements to the integrated development environment mean that whether modeling, coding, testing or debugging, developers can use existing skills to deploy a growing number of application types. Built-in tools for Windows 7 and Microsoft SharePoint 2010, new drag and drop bindings for Silverlight and Windows Presentation Foundation, and interoperability with innovative technologies (such as those for the database, ASP.NET model view controller, unified modeling language, Expression, and multicore) allow developers to bring their visions to life. With the .NET Framework 4, developers can experience smaller deployments with up to an 81 percent reduction in the framework size when using the Client Profile. Other .NET Framework 4 developer benefits include additional support for industry standards, inclusion of the Dynamic Language Runtime for more language choice, new support for high-performance middle-tier applications (including parallel programming, workflow and service-oriented applications) and backward compatibility through side-by-side installation with .NET Framework 3.5.

With the Ultimate Offer, active MSDN Premium subscribers will be transitioned to a higher-level Visual Studio 2010 with MSDN subscription at launch. This provides access to resources, including test and development rights for Microsoft server software (including Windows Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008), Microsoft Office, and premium Visual Studio tools.

Microsoft has also simplified the product lineup for Visual Studio 2010 and announced pricing details. In the next version, customers will be able to choose from three main versions of Visual Studio 2010:

- Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate with MSDN.
- Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Premium with MSDN.
- Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional with MSDN.

Also today, Microsoft unveiled new benefits for MSDN subscribers, including these:

- Unlimited access to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 (upon release), a server product that drives down the risks and costs of developing software by enhancing team collaboration
- Azure Development, which enables MSDN Premium subscribers to develop on the Windows Azure platform (Microsoft?s cloud services platform) with compute hours, storage, data transfers, SQL Azure databases and .NET Services.
- Complimentary e-learning, up to 40 hours per year, per subscriber

Those interested can download Beta 2 at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/default.aspx.
 
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