Microsoft to deliver SharePoint apps for Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS starting in early 2013

Microsoft to deliver SharePoint apps for Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS starting in early 2013

Summary: Microsoft is readying two new companion apps for SharePoint that will work on Windows 8, Windows Phone and iOS devices starting early next year.


Microsoft is working on native mobile SharePoint-connected applications for Windows 8, Windows Phone and iOS, which will begin coming to market by early 2013.


Microsoft officials are making available prototypes of the Windows Phone 8 version of one of the coming SharePoint applications as of November 12, the day that Microsoft's SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas kicks off. 

"We've had a design team four times in size compared to what we've had working on previous SharePoint releases," said Jeff Teper, Corporate Vice President of Office Servers and Services Program Management. The result: Mobile apps that reflect the "modern" style that Microsoft is pushing across Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

Among the demos the estimated 10,000 attendees of the conference will see are a SharePoint Newsfeed app and a SkyDrive Pro app. 

The SharePoint Newsfeed app is designed to provide users with access from their mobile devices to the people and documents they follow. A preview version of the Windows Phone app -- a screen capture of which is embedded in this post above --  is available today. The SharePoint Newsfeed app will also be available on Android at a later, unspecified date, Microsoft execs said.

(To get the Windows Phone Newsfeed test build, users running Windows Phone 7.5 or 8 devices should type into their IE mobile browsers and follow instructions from there.)

Here's a screen shot provided by Microsoft of what a mock-up of the Newsfeed app for Windows 8. A test build of this version is not yet available:


A separate SkyDrive Pro app will provide Windows 8 and iOS users with access to SkyDrive Pro. In spite of some Microsoft officials' claims to the contrary, SkyDrive Pro is the new name for SharePoint Workspace. It allows users to save SharePoint content for offline use. There's already a SkyDrive Pro app available as part of the Office Hub on Windows Phone 8. Microsoft officials plan to announce availability targets for the Windows 8 and iOS versions of this app "at a later time."

The SharePoint group isn't the first Microsoft team to demonstrate and talk up plans to develop Metro-Style/Windows Store versions of their mobile apps. Microsoft's Dynamics ERP and CRM teams have shown and discussed work on this front, as well. The Microsoft CRM team said it plans to have a native, mobile version of Microsoft CRM for Windows 8 by mid-2013.

In an interview prior to the start of the SharePoint Conference, Teper reiterated that Microsoft split the SharePoint team in two three years ago. Half the team focused on the cloud/Office 365/SharePoint Online versions of the product. The other half of the team focused on social and mobile.

"We are looking to further pivot to a devices and services world in a more unified way," Teper said -- reflecting Microsoft's new emphasis on remaking itself as a devices and services company, an evolution of its software and services charter.

SharePoint is now one of just a handful of Microsoft products that is contributing more than $2 billion annually in revenues, according to Microsoft officials. (That milestone was achieved at the end of Microsoft's fiscal 2012 in June 2012.) SharePoint was one of the first Microsoft products to cross the $1 billion business threshhold.

Topics: Mobility, Enterprise Software, iOS, Microsoft, Smartphones, Windows, Social Enterprise


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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  • Cool, but it why are they leaving out Android??

    It would seem that if they are putting one together for iOS, Android would be possible too.

    All this seems rather diluted (or convoluted) from where Groove started years ago, but it also seems like it should be the best-of-breed document collaboration platform.
    Schoolboy Bob
    • Android support

      From the post: The SharePoint Newsfeed app will also be available on Android at a later, unspecified date, Microsoft execs said.

      Ditto with the SkyDrive Pro one, I'd think.

      Mary Jo Foley
      • Past History

        Remember all the promises about cross platform support with Active X?
        • RE: Past History

          They've already delivered other iOS and Android apps, and have a number of other apps on tap, so I don't see any reason to doubt them.

          As long as WinPhone continues to have miniscule market share, it will be more important for the Office division to make apps work with iOS and Android (and try to retain Office marketshare vs. other tools available on those platforms) than it will be for Microsoft to use Office as a way to force people to switch to WinPhone.

          If WP8 were sitting on 60-70% market share things might be different, but I don't think that's a realistic outcome for the foreseeable future, do you?
  • Better List Forms

    On WP7.5, the mobile version in the browser can edit list items the Office Hub-based version cannot, though even it can't address multiple line text boxes, it seems. A stronger list form app would be very desirable so you can properly enter and manage information though handheld clients.
  • I'm Fairly Sure this is Hype

    First, I can't believe that Sharepoint is lagging so far behind the Windows 8 release. Second, quadrupling their programming team? That's good news. That sounds like disaster and the most ignorant form of desperation. Third, talking up vague plans equals vaporware. Fourth, "SharePoint was one of the first Microsoft products to cross the $1 billion business threshhold." Can you hear alarm bells?
  • Is it hippa compliant

    The only reason a lot of industries (such as mine) avoid cloud based work, is the security issues. Are sharepoint and it's mobile applications hippa compliant?
    I think a business that has legal requirements in terms of patient/client information would be interested to know if sharepoint and the mobile application can be used. Otherwise, we are all back to square 1.
    • One of the cool things about the internet...

      ...Is that you can search it:
      (and, for what it's worth, there are two a-s, and not two p-s in "HIPAA")
    • HIPPA ??

      There are no "HIPPA" compliance requirements for Office Applications as there is for Electronic Medical Record systems and Health Data Vaults.

      The HIPPA protections in these cases are provided by Organizational Policies and Practices, not technical features of the application itself.
    • Cloud Security and migration pain.

      rgor...your comment on HIPAA compliance in the cloud is a good one. I'd like to also add that many small to medium size businesses with decaying onsite servers would benefit from cloud services, but the "pain" they infer from the migration process and in worrying about security, are significant.

      The company who finds a way to package that so that the tech ignorant business owners like myself can grasp the benefits vs risks, easily and intuitively, will win a LOT of new clients.

      Windows 8 has made the move of some things pretty easy, but Microsoft has too many tools scattered about out there. I keep hoping they will pull them all under one roof, with one login and one password.

      In any case, thank you all for such great insights. I'm learning as I go.
    • My bad

      Oops sorry I got confused by the acronyms . The thing about these standards is that they are very vague and don't imply if a technology or product is correctly applying their standards.
      The problem is the penalties. If they feel you are not compliant it can be severe.
      I am curious if the sharepoint mobile applications encrypt all data on the local device and if we are the only ones who can see the data.
      I was considering dropbox but I'm told they have the ability to look at the data if they needed to.
      Could sharepoint provide end to end encryption and allow only those authorized to look at the information?
  • RT?

    What about Windows RT? Or is that included in Windows 8?
    • My 2 cents

      Right now Microsoft is targeting RT for student and casual home users. If enterprises start adopting RT in their networks, probably you would see RT version too. But that is just my guess.
      Ram U
  • If they want to make money on them

    go with iOS first.