While Microsoft played up the November availability of a public beta of SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 during the opening day of the company's SharePoint Conference, there were lots of other interesting product tidbits that went unnoticed by many.
Here's a quick round-up of a few of them:
With SharePoint 2010, there will be (at least) 10 different SharePoint SKUs. (I guess the SharePoint team is bucking the trend that other Microsoft teams seem to be following -- that fewer SKUs is better.) On the product editions list: SharePoint Server 2010 for Intranet Scenarios (with Enterprise and Standard Client Access Licenses); SharePoint Server 2010 for Internet Sites, Enterprise; SharePoint Server 2010 for Internet Sites, Standard; FAST Search for SharePoint 2010; FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 for Internet Sites; Search Server 2010; Search Server Express 2010; SharePoint Designer 2010; SharePoint Foundation 2010 (the product formerly known as Windows SharePoint Services). There are also at least two SharePoint Online SKUs: Standard and Deskless Worker.
Microsoft is replacing the current online-offline synchronization engine in SharePoint with its Sync Framework. Groove Workspaces are tied to SharePoint right now using an internal sync engine that will be supplanted by the Microsoft Sync Framework. (Sync Framework is not the same as Windows Live Sync or FeedSync, just to try to clarify Microsoft's confusing naming scheme.) The change in engines will enable support of more users sharing Groove Workspaces and will allow developers to take advantage of exposed SharePoint programming interfaces.
Enhancements are coming to SharePoint Mobile Access. Buried in one of Corporate Vice President Jeff Teper's dense, epic blog posts: "We both improved the experience for mobile web browsers and are introducing a new SharePoint Workspace Mobile client so you can take Office content from SharePoint offline on a Windows Mobile device. These clients let you navigate lists and libraries, search content and people and even view and edit Office content within the Office Web App experience running on a mobile browser." It's not clear whether this new client is the same one that may or may not be part of Office Mobile 2010, a product about which Microsoft is willing to say little
Project Gemini is now known as Microsoft SQL Server PowerPivot for Excel (or plain old "PowerPivot" for short). PowerPivot will be integrated with SharePoint Server 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2. Microsoft is touting PowerPivot's benefits as integrating "massive amounts of data on the desktop from virtually any source": and the performance fast calculations and analysis on large data volumes.
I realize there's a theory at Microsoft that product names of business software can be more unwieldy and matter less than those of Microsoft's consumer-focused products. Yes, SharePoint is a complicated, multifaceted Swiss army knife of a product, but it sure seems like all these SKUs and components would make it tough on customers trying to tread water in the SharePoint swamp.