The next version of Office and SharePoint seem likely to land on servers in the first quarter of next year, making it SharePoint 2013, with a beta due this summer.
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Enterprises' love of SharePoint seems to know no bounds, but the product has plenty of areas for improvement, often filled in by third-party apps, solutions, tweaks and various packages. While Microsoft is unlikely to tread on its partner's toes, improvement was inevitable and it looks like we can expect a beta of SharePoint and 15 in the coming months.
The date matches the typical three-year cycle of Office products, but clears up any confusion with previous date estimates stretching into 2014.
Part of the leaked Microsoft roadmap
With its track running parallel to Office and Exchange, the Microsoft business wizards are going to have a busy time of it getting everything ready for a group launch next year. For business users we start the inevitable worry about the upgrade cycle, with those on older (2007) editions of SharePoint probably holding off from the 2012 version.
What's in the Pipe?
We have previously speculated on SharePoint integrating with Silverlight, but there are plenty of more pragmatic features. A new app store is the most likely feature to help tie in all those third-party products to help users create and buy packaged solutions. An educational module has been widely touted to help it access the huge learning sector. Finally, SharePoint Online is likely to happen, creating a cloud version.
With the product currently in a private beta, expect things to get a whole lot clearer when the summer general beta emerges. And let us know about any must-have feature it would take you to upgrade, or are you perfectly happy in your SharePoint 2010 (or earlier) environment?