9:05- Key note kicks off
9:10 - Stats: 3,800 People, 500 people wait list, people were waiting outside the conference on the chance they could get in.
9:15 - The conference site used for organising the event is SharePoint based, eating their own "dogfood"
9:15 - Bill Gates comes on stage
9:18 - Talked about the technology trends that have underpinned the ability to develop SharePoint. The more toward user centricity via the support of multiple devices and making your information more mobile.
9:20 - Discussed the impact of more natural user interfaces such as touch and voice.
9:23 - Mentioned that this will be his transition year, and played his last day video.
9.30 - Business Productivity, all about making people more productive than they are today. Voice over IP is an example of this, with the boundaries between the ways we communicated being blurred.
9.33 - Social Computing is emerging, social networking on SharePoint.
9.35 - Showed the SharePoint pie chart. SharePoint unifies the server environment. Previously the functionality provided by SharePoint was split across multiple products, SharePoint was not about one category, but about unifying the various categories (File Share, Web Server, Executive Information Systems, etc.)
9.37 - Nice slide that categorises the various uses of SharePoint by user base and content type.
9.40 - Predicts that department level sites are really going accelerate productivity.
9.41 - Server Momentum - 1 $Billion dollar product, 100M licenses, 81 of Fortune 100. Fastest growing product ever.
9.42 - Talked about the success of Exchange Server. Customers have driven the product based on their requirements. The two products are very complimentary, email isn't for everything, as the collaborative complexity goes up, the need for SharePoint becomes more obvious.
9.43 - Discussed running software wherever you like, the software + services platform. Described the evolutionary path that Microsoft has been on toward being a hosted solution provider. Subscription model for SharePoint and Exchange.
9.46 - John Betz came on for a demo.
9.47 - Demonstrating the Administrative Tools. Expects there will be a hybrid environment, so that services will be split between the hosted solution and the local network. AD syncronisation for example..
9.50 - SharePoint online runs in a Microsoft data center. Demonstrated how easy it is to create new SharePoint sites.
9.55 - It has its own Sign-In client, which goes over HTTPS (no VPN , also manages the local configuration of clients.
My battery sadly went flat at this point, however in summary:
1) The SharePoint Online offering looked pretty game changing for the hosting market, especially given the support for product customisation. Will be very interesting to follow how this annoucement is received. Although partners affected I'm sure have known it is coming for a long time.
2) Richard Riley did a demonstration of Microsoft Search 2008 Express, looked great. In particular he demonstrated its ability to federate results from other sources. This is extensible and offers a lot of opportunity for providing better search. He also demonstrated a cool silverlight based search page, lots of bells and whistles.
Bill then did some Q&A. Stay tuned for more coverage...and dont forget to check out Robin, Mark and Hans.