Over the years we had gotten used to Microsoft steering people into using the latest product versions of everything they have. While browser support for Firefox, Chrome and Safari has gotten better, Internet Explorer support for older versions has been cut at number 10. In other words: If you want support from Microsoft on Office 365, you need to use at least version 10.
While this might be a problem for larger corporations who usually have longer upgrade cycles due to impact on third party applications, small companies and teams most likely can go along with that … or just use Firefox, Chrome or Safari.
It’s hard to believe, Microsoft actually could learn something from IBM. And it seems, they rather don’t.
In 1995 IBM purchased Lotus Development. At the time Lotus Notes was the dominating product in what then was called ‘Groupware’ (today we would call it Social Collaboration). Bill Gates always was known to be a big fan of Lotus Notes and beating up his engineers to come up with a “Notes-killer”. For the first few years after the take-over, the market and business partners were happy, because IBM left Lotus alone. Lotus was flourishing and brought in a lot of money. The product got better and better and we (partners) could build better and better applications.
Then the unavoidable happened and IBM “integrated” Lotus. Still, things were ok. But then IBM overvalued their influence and impact, when a new strategy (famous words) was introduced to promote IBMs DB2 and JAVA-based products: Websphere was the new kid in town and IBM Workplace was supposed to replace Notes. I went to several trainings and could not help wondering what I missed – I just never was impressed… (must have been too stupid) … anyway … Workplace is history and some poor customers still are struggling with Websphere…
The real problem however was that Lotus Notes had become the ugly duck. Whoever promoted Lotus Notes was looked down at “… poor you, haven’t you seen the signs of the times?” The results were big question marks on clients faces. The uncertainty creeped in and undermined many commitments.
This was the atmosphere when Microsoft introduced SharePoint … and yes it has taken them many years to develop a serious product. SharePoint 2010 was by many considered the first really good version. 2013 was another big improvement. The Microsoft partner community is solid and has invested in training their engineers and consultants, created products, etc… all the good things, we’ve seen before with Lotus Notes (and other products). And since November 2012 it is clear that this is going to be history soon. By introducing the 1 TB limit (over the previous 200 GB limit) for SharePoint online (only!) a few days ago, Microsoft has made clear that they are serious about their Cloud strategy.
Never did I expect this to happen: Microsoft released a Mac version of OneNote, one of their best (and most underrated) Windows desktop applications. To top this, the software is available for free (for all platforms) – for a limited time (so it says in the App store).
You will need an account to use it and share information with others (or between your devices), e.g., a hotmail or outlook.com account (my Office 365 accounts were declined). Contents may be synced via OneDrive (the artist formerly called SkyDrive). Some features that make it an enterprise beast have been removed (versioning, SharePoint integration, etc.) Fine with me (except I like versioning).
You may just use the software on your own and be happy … Evernote just got a new and unexpected competitor (still offers better overall integration, so sit back and relax).
Every SharePoint Consultant knows (or should know) about the 200 GB limit for Content Databases. Since Site Collections (so far) cannot be distributed across Content Databases, this limit also means that Site Collections cannot hold more than 200 GB of data. Every operations manager responsible for a SharePoint farm knows about this. It’s been around for a while and probably will for quite a while – unless you use team sites on SharePoint Online.
This is the first time Microsoft clearly has put its Office 365 customers in favor of clients using SharePoint on premises: a Microsoft blog post announces an increase of the 200 GB limit to 1 TB for SharePoint Online when using team sites (and OneDrive for Business).
And obviously you need to have the proper Office 365 subscription. The 1 TB limit is not available to dedicated subscribers, Home Premium subscribers and government subscribers.
This is exciting news for quite a few people I know because it will remove an annoying problem they had – how to split up information that belonged together, just because there was a technical limitation… The other question though is, when Microsoft will update OneDrive for Business to be a real business tool, i.e., remove the limit of 5’000 files that can be synchronized and allow for individual folders to be synced rather than having to pick an entire library. I don’t know of any user who would sync 1 TB of data to their notebook.
SharePoint Online: software boundaries and limits
Change storage space for your subscription (yes, the extra storage space will cost you in most cases)
Microsoft’s big SharePoint Conference 2014 is over, and participants are going home wondering what they’ve learned. Many people who – like me – did not attend and are looking from a distance are wondering, what the people who were there have learned.
In the big picture, everyone is interested in their investment, i.e., the big question is, if SharePoint on premise is here to stay. The very clear response to that is ‘yes’ – but really ‘no’.
Yes, there is a next version.
Yes, Microsoft has committed to maintain that next release until 2025 (10 years life cycle).
No, because ‘maintenance’ does not mean you get the latest greatest.
No, because there is no commitment other than to Office 365 (and Yammer).
Two years ago already the sounds of the sirens were singing the Cloud song. Microsoft has increased the volume of the singing. Several statements paint a very clear picture: If you want to use all of the latest and best functionality of SharePoint, you will have to use Office 365 very soon. There is no way around it.
This actually is good news … for Microsoft’s competition. And for clients (depending on where you stand). This move will create a lot more space for competitive offerings (I did not say that they will be better). Clients will have more options to choose from (if Microsoft’s competitors don’t fall for the obvious traps).
The only group of people for whom this is kind of bad news are the IT Pros. It’s kind of “highly trained car mechanic turns chauffeur”. Not bad, just very different.
(This article first appeared on ezit.io)
I’ve been consulting around Microsoft SharePoint for about four years now, and whenever a client asked me about InfoPath for creating forms I recommended against it. Not because it was or is a bad technology, but simply because it is proprietary which means, Microsoft can do with it what they want… and they do. And I believe this is a very good move.
Last Friday, Microsoft officially announced the end of InfoPath. The current release will be the last version. Yes, maintenance will keep InfoPath alive for the next nine years, but that will melt to insignificance when that release is not supported anymore in the next release of SharePoint. In other words, you can keep using forms create with InfoPath as long as you still use the underlying platform version that goes with it – SharePoint 2013 or Office 2013. If you want to upgrade, you will need to migrate your InfoPath forms.
Microsoft does not say what’s next. A sneak peek is announced for the SharePoint conference… and we will give you that same sneak peek in Zurich, if you don’t want to go to Las Vegas. Since Silverlight already has been set to rest, the question remains, what Microsoft will offer, i.e., what SharePoint clients need to look for in their projects and developers need to focus on. As far as I am concerned the obvious answer is HTML5.
Even though HTML5 is not an officially release standard yet, every major browser has been supporting HTML5 for years. The same technology runs across operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux,…) and on every major mobile device, from the Kindle to Android and Apple’s iPhones and iPads. Using this technology (which is available today) will make it much easier for everyone involved. That’s why I think, it’s a good move!
Further read: http://www.cmswire.com/cms/information-management/the-end-of-the-infopath-era-024002.php
The important detail here is “R2″ behind Windows Server 2012. Microsoft published a Knowledge Base article saying (emphasis by me):
Currently, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 is not supported for installation on computers running the Windows Server 2012 R2 operating system.
Installing SharePoint Server 2013 on a computer that is running Windows Server 2012 R2 could lead to unexpected behavior, therefore, Microsoft does not support SharePoint Server 2013 in Windows Server 2012 R2.
SharePoint Server 2013 with Service Pack 1 and SharePoint Foundation 2013 with Service Pack 1 will offer support for Windows Server 2012 R2.
As mentioned furtheron, there is no release date yet for SP1 of SharePoint 2013. The above mentioned KB article will be updated.
Today I came across a site worth keeping in mind for everything relating to the SharePoint look and feel: topsharepoint.com combines a lot of good information including
- Links to free eBooks on SharePoint 2013, reaching from introductory books to hard core administrator “bibles” as well as books on SharePoint branding – which are rare to find anyway.
- List of clean & minimalist (public) sites. Even though I don’t agree with all of those qualifying for clean or minimalistic, the collection definitively is a great demonstration of what’s possible with SharePoint.
- Best (public) SharePoint site of the month
Have a look – you might find some surprising information.