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Gates Shows Off SharePoint Server 2007

Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates on Monday touted the capabilities of the company's upcoming Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Gates and other officials demoed some of those features to a sold-out gathering --1,300 customers and partners -- at Microsoft's first ever SharePoint Conference being held this week on the company's sprawling Redmond, Wash. campus.

While the new features had been shown previously, Gates highlighted new search capabilities, improved Outlook integration, offline document library support, new business intelligence dashboards and new server-based Excel services. The company also claims it has sold 75 million licenses of the previous version, SharePoint Portal Server 2003.

Gates emphasized how SharePoint Server 2007 tightly integrates with the rest of Microsoft Office System 2007. "I wanted to make it clear that...SharePoint is a key element of a very broad product strategy," he added.

For instance, one demo showed Excel routines running on SharePoint server and displaying their results on the user's dashboard. In another, several users' calendars were overlayed to help find an open meeting time based on calendars stored on a team server site. Other features include support for wikis, blogs and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds.

Gates also made a play for third-party participation. "We do think of SharePoint as a platform, and we've done a lot in terms of making it easy to develop on top of that, make it extensible," he said.

SharePoint Server 2007, along with the rest of Office System 2007, is scheduled to ship early next year.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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