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There's anticipation about the keynote at every SharePoint Conference. Will there be news related to releases? Will there be a change in direction in how things are done today? The expectation for today’s keynote was no different. There was the usual questions about what would be covered, but I wish I had a $1 for every time I heard “What does Bill Clinton have to do with SharePoint?”

Clinton started the keynote with a message focused on the impact and transformational possibilities of technology, including how it is expanding the voices of people worldwide.

Jared Spataro, general manager of product marketing for Microsoft Office, followed Clinton. He focused on the vision and goals shaping the future of Microsoft.

  1. We believe the future of work is all about working as a Network.
  2. We believe in personal insights that can be heard when you cut through the noise.
  3. We believe in the power of an open development platform and a robust ecosystem.
  4. We believe that the future of work is only possible when people can work anywhere on any device where organizations can still manage them securely.

These goals frame the future releases of products and services within Office365 and were the basis of all of the new technologies put on display during today’s keynote session.

New Technologies

First up was social and the social experience that users have when working with solutions. Most of the focus today was on the ability to work using one common set of things across all elements. To demonstrate this, Spataro showed enhanced group features that allow you to create a group once that can then be used in Yammer, Outlook and SharePoint. The groups are centrally managed and allow you to manage content that can be accessed from multiple places in different formats.

This is a huge improvement to the current separated groups that exist between Yammer and SharePoint. In addition to the groups, there is now a way to work within Office documents and still maintain connection to your discussions related to the content. This will give users access to content and Yammer threads in one place, allowing for better collaboration with coworkers on building content.