Recently, Chris Wright announced a prediction: "SharePoint Will Disappear Very Soon." His claim was, of course, provocative and attention-grabbing. As it turns out, his prediction merely centered upon a simple issue of wording: "Let me explain, I’m referring to the word "SharePoint," the name, the brand we have grown accustomed to over the years. I’m not talking about the product, which I’m sure will be with us and going strong for many years to come."
Is he right? Is "SharePoint" going away?
Declaring the demise of the SharePoint brand is like predicting that Apple computer will stop imprinting their products with an Apple, or declaring that Google will change its name to something entirely different. After all, SharePoint is the technology engine that runs many corporate environments. It's a pretty big deal.
A Brief History of SharePoint
The original emphasis of SharePoint was, of course, integration and conslidation of work-sharing, organization, social activity, cloud-based app. In a word, SharePoint offered information management on an exponential scale. At the same time, SharePoint has necessitated its fair share of improvements. Products like Semaphore have helped to enhance SharePoint's power and enhance its capabilities.
To this point, SharePoint has been an evolving and ever-growing product in the lineup of corporate power products. Is it too early to publish the brand name obituary?
SharePoint 2013...and Beyond
SharePoint is still strong, still powerful, and with SharePoint 2013, it's growing stronger and more powerful still. There are some major improvements in SharePoint 2013, such as:
- Streamlined user interface. This needed to be done. A trimmed down menu and wide-open UI make the whole process of building, integrating, working and networking much more appealing. The most pleasing change? Mobile-friendly views.
- More social. If you feel like you need more social integration, SharePoint has that, too. It's bigger newsfeed visibility (thanks to Yammer) provides your personalized newsfeed to give you all the social info you yearn for.
- Better search results. SharePoint has been hammered in the past for its dismal search results. Thanks to some tweaks, the search function is much improved.
These improvements and others lead us to question Wright's claim. While Office 365 is big and strong, it's not so big that it will swallow up SharePoint. With improvements on this scale in 2013, there's probably a lot more good things to come later on — the SharePoint label still attached.
We're not in a prediction-making mode right now, but it does seem that SharePoint has solid footing in the market. It's so much bigger than a CMS, so much broader than a development platform, so much more powerful than a document storage site. Plus, it has a large and loyal following, even if its not quite as iconic as Apple's apple. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.