Because social is just another layer of the search experience, the social activities help end users to better apply metadata, making the overall system more searchable, findable and usable.

Office Integration

While Microsoft has further enriched the Office web applications, this advancement has more to do with building a consistent user experience across the various Office brands, of which SharePoint is a member. The most noticeable feature is the ability to drag and drop content from the desktop into SharePoint and vice versa.

When SharePoint was moved under the Office family, it was given the directive to make the user experience more consistent with the rest of the Office family. And they've done a great job at this, dramatically improving SharePoint's usability, improving notifications and integrating with Office apps and Exchange.

Enhanced Search

With FAST Search now integrated into the primary SharePoint SKU, and a number of information worker usability features, such as hover panels, searching by metadata and improved analytics, the real power is in SharePoint's ability to aggregate content wherever content is crawled, and is not limited by content database location as with older versions.

Many of the strongest personalization features in SharePoint 2013 are enabled by the new search, such as My Tasks, with the ability to get very granular and customized with your search results so that you display exactly the content you want to make visible.

Online First

And finally, the move toward an Online first delivery model is a massive change not only to this version of SharePoint, but to Microsoft's internal product development model and timetable. While it increases the speed of delivery of new features to market, we don't yet know the impact this shift will have to the on-premises model. We'll have to wait and see how Microsoft adjusts to this new delivery model, and give customers time to provide their feedback.

Keeping these themes in mind, adapting to SharePoint 2013 will require specific governance strategies to take advantage of the cloud and its ability to improve enterprise collaboration. The following post will look at what a governance strategy should look like and questions to ask yourself before proceeding with a move to the cloud.

Image courtesy of Jirsak (Shutterstock)

Editor's Note: To read more by Christian, check out Driving Value with SharePoint Search