Since the upgrade of Office 365, we've seen our fair share of commentaries and criticisms of SharePoint Online. But what about Microsoft? What does it think the strong points are? In a recent blog post, Mark Kashman, a Senior Product Manager on the SharePoint team, outlined his thoughts.

Needless to say Kashman is enthusiastic about the new online upgrades and, given his job title, we wouldn't expect him to be critical. The list is worth a look in that it should point to the direction Microsoft is likely to take with future releases.

Among the many things added, is a new user interface, higher storage limits for both business and personal users, better controls for administrators and an improved cloud-app development model.

The result is an online platform that enables users to share data internally and externally, and offers effective and easy-to-use search and discovery options, as well as better ways to organize documents, project details and timelines.

So what does Kashman think are the top 10 features? Find out below:

1. User interface (UI)

The entire user interface has been redesigned to make navigation and achieving simple tasks easy. Kashman also describes it as "easy on the eyes." Improvements include:

  • Drag and drop: Upload content to sites by dragging items from your computer into a library
  • On-hover: A callout feature that works with any document within a library or from search results that enables easy sharing, viewing, following or jumping to content
  • Touch: Large touch targets for easy navigation and mobile device access

SharePoint  Online new interface.jpg
SharePoint Online User Interface

2. SkyDrive Pro

SkyDrive Pro is now a core part of SharePoint Online and offers users organizational control. With it users can:

  • Sync and share documents
  • Collaborate on documents with individuals both inside and outside of their organization
  • Access content and information anywhere and from a multitude of devices
  • Control content lifecycle and versioning
  • Manage access permissions

Kashman also says that by June users will also be able to access SkyDrive Pro with native mobile client apps for Windows 8 and iOS.

3. Yammer

Need we say anything more?

However, to summarize it -- Yammer is Microsoft’s bet on social computing and it will be included with SharePoint Online or Office 365 investment. Some of the features include:

  • Enables enterprises to become social quickly
  • Offers easy access to Groups and Feeds
  • Easy access across different devices and browsers
  • Powerful administration tools