Today, Microsoft hosted its SharePoint Virtual Summit where the company unveiled several new features coming to SharePoint and OneDrive for Business as well as integration into Office 365, Windows and of course, Azure. These new features are in addition to what the company announced last week at Build which includes placeholders for both OneDrive and SharePoint Online.
For those that think that SharePoint is a platform for yesterday, the company continues to show solid growth for this product. As of the writing of this post, Microsoft says that they have over 250,000 organizations using SharePoint and that over 85% of Fortune 500 companies now have SharePoint Online as part of Office 365.
Starting this summer, you will soon be able to share Office 365 files directly from the File Explorer for both PC and Mac. The process to share files has also been simplified for both inside/outside your organization and you can also provide links that expire and easily view and modify the permissions granted as well; the sharing experience is the same on all supported platforms.
Also announced for release this summer are SharePoint communication sites. This new feature makes it easy to create a dynamic and aesthetically pleasing intranet sites to help keep your users engaged and informed; these sites are designed to work well on PC, Mac, the web and of course mobile too.
Communication sites can be built quickly and can utilize Yammer to gather feedback from users as well as drag and drop authoring; these sites are designed to be deployed quickly but make it look professional too.
When it comes to searching, we all know how awful it can typically be inside of any application aside from Bing and Google. Microsoft is hoping to make it easier to find content inside of Office 365 by further leveraging the Microsoft Graph. Microsoft is now using machine learning and artificial intelligence (their two favorite buzzwords) to help you surface more relevant content in your searches. The new results will highlight people cards that will help you locate people in your organization who may be subject matter experts on the particular topic you are researching; this feature will roll out over the next few months.
Microsoft is continuously working to add new features to SharePoint and it’s safe to say that they are not simply letting the platform become stale by any means. With new startups and old competitors constantly trying to invade this lucrative enterprise space, expect the company to continue to invest heavily in this product for the foreseeable future as it has proven to be a profitable line of business for the organization.
And for those wondering, yes Microsoft is still fully committed to its on-premises version of SharePoint as well.