Is Microsoft ready to roll out its BPOS v2 test build?

Is Microsoft ready to roll out its BPOS v2 test build?

Summary: It's about time for Microsoft to roll out the promised test version of its Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) version 2. I'd bet we're going to see it about a week from now, on October 19.

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It's about time for Microsoft to roll out the promised test version of its Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) version 2. I'd bet we're going to see it about a week from now, on October 19.

At the very least, October 19 is likely to be the announcement date, I'm thinking.

Here's my train of thought: Microsoft execs have said throughout this past summer that a test build of the new BPOS would be available before the end of 2010. Microsoft's Office Division is planning  to hold an even in San Francisco, hosted by new Office President Kurt DelBene and Chris Capossela, Senior Vice President, Information Worker Product Management Group (and the guy overseeing BPOS, among other Office products). The event  on the 19th is for Bay Area press and analysts only, but will be Webcast, according to an invitation I received. While I'm making educated guesses, I'd also wager that Microsoft will announce that it is rebranding BPOS to "Union" at this event.

BPOS is Microsoft's alternative to Google Apps and IBM's LotusLive suite. The Redmondians have been putting more development and marketing muscle behind BPOS in recent months to fight its competitors, as well as to convince more Microsoft shops to move to the cloud.

Microsoft officials have been talking up for months the features and functionality that the company is rolling into BPOS v.Next, which is due out in final form next year. The new version of BPOS will include the individual elements of the BPOS suite -- Exchange Online, SharePoint Online,, Communications Online (now known as Lync Online) and Live Meeting -- to include functionality that Microsoft has shipped or will be shipping as part of the latest versions of its on-premises versions of these apps. Microsoft also has been adding incremental updates to BPOS, like the newly released health dashboard, in recent weeks. Among the most anticipated features in BPOS v.Next is support for Office Web Apps (via the new SharePoint Online), as well as multitenancy support (provided with the updated Exchange Online).

I've heard conflicting things about the future of Live Meeting -- something to which I've referred repeatedly as one of Microsoft's worst products. I'm hearing this conferencing service might still be in BPOS/Union, but in a completely rewritten form that doesn't use much, if any, of the code of previous Live Meeting releases. I've also heard Live Meeting will no longer exist as a separate product and be morphed into Lync. Microsoft officials declined to comment when I asked previously about the future of Live Meeting.

Microsoft also has been continuing to work on a BPOS Lite offering. Maybe more information on that will be forthcoming next week, as well? (I've heard from a number of Microsoft's channel partners who are worried about what margins will look like on that offering....)

The Softies are not commenting on what is on the October 19 agenda. Guess we'll see if my bets were on or off soon....

Topics: Microsoft, CXO, Collaboration

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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6 comments
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  • RE: Is Microsoft ready to roll out its BPOS v2 test build?

    ...last official "guess" I heard for BPOS v2 was Jan 2011 but maybe that is for the EMEA datacenters - Mary, do you know if the different datacenters are on different schedules?
    In any case, <rant>I find it pathetic how MS is pushing it's partners to use the latest of it's software and to use BPOS internally - you can't have both Microsoft - e.g. Exchange 2010 was released a year ago and BPOS is still on Exchange 2007. This gap needs to close, Microsoft, if you want to be taken seriously in the cloud.</rant>
    howerya
    • schedules

      Good question, re: the rollout schedules. I don't know. Hopefully we will hear more next week.

      Yes, they know the gap is unacceptable. Some teams are changing already. The next version of CRM (2011) is debuting in service form first, and on-premises software later. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
  • Collaboration Suites - more than a two horse race

    Messaging & Collaboration Suites are mainstream now, anyone following BPOS may know it's not just Google Apps MS is competing with , check out this report last week from InformationWeek which summarized a recent report from SMB Group of all the major players in the Collaboration Suites market. <a href="http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2010/09/smbs_set_sights.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2010/09/smbs_set_sights.html</a>
    skaviani
  • RE: Is Microsoft ready to roll out its BPOS v2 test build?

    BPOS? Big pile of ... ? and version 2 to boot! Exciting stuff from MS.
    Monkeypox
  • RE: Is Microsoft ready to roll out its BPOS v2 test build?

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