Microsoft has yet to set a release date for SharePoint 2013, but as of November, volume licensing customers can download the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) version from either TechNet or MSDN.
By acquiring volume licensing through Microsoft now for the new SharePoint release, one can acquire the latest Microsoft technology before it’s available to the general public. As part of Microsoft’s licensing offerings, a user receives in addition Software Assurance (SA) benefits that continue through the lifecycle of the licensed software.
Many businesses claim SA is a smart investment as it adds value and longstanding benefits. However, if that is not an option for the customer, he/she can expect that all Microsoft’s 2013-branded products to have “general availability” sometime in the first quarter of next year.
The highly anticipated release of SharePoint 2013, for those that have yet to preview it, is available in the preview version of Office 365 Enterprise. The new SharePoint version presents a much needed upgrade from the 2010 version, which came out three years ago.
Reports, along with some of our own analysis, say SharePoint 2013 will offer enhanced search features and collaboration (including social networking) in the enterprise. In addition, it will feature updates for Web content management and application development for HTML5 and CSSv3 as well as for “Napa,” which is the new Office 365 Development Tools, and will include a new workflow engine that runs on .NET 4.0 called Windows Azure Workflow (in version 1.0).
The Preview of SharePoint Server 2013 reveals that the business intelligence (BI) tools have been updated to integrate with not only the latest Microsoft Office productivity suite, but also with Office Web Apps for desktop and mobile environments. What’s more, SharePoint will permit users access to more data-driven applications and information from external data sources.
If what has already been mentioned about SharePoint 2013 has yet to persuade customers to upgrade or buy it, then, perhaps the seven new features and capabilities, which resulted in improvements in scalability, performance, task management and a overhauled search engine, will.
Here are seven features of the new SharePoint that end users are sure to love:
1. It will have an updated My Sites feature. Now SharePoint divides “My Site” into three distinct sections: Newsfeed (provides quick access to documents and latest posts or replies from users), SkyDrive Pro (to share, save, store and track files in the cloud), and Sites (used to track those sites that the users follow).
As a result, My Sites gets a lot easier to access each one, more social and collaborative.
2. There will be an all-new app store model. Apps will become available via the cloud and new SharePoint Store. As a result, it becomes more cloud-based friendly. Other than the add-on SkyDrive Pro, it will feature an Office on Demand add-on, which will allow subscribers to temporarily run the new Office applications.
3. It adds more social features and capabilities. For instance it will include micro blogs, activity feeds, community sites and more. Microsoft has announced it will also interconnect with its new social network service, named Yammer which was acquired earlier in the year.
4. SharePoint content becomes more mobile. It will make it easier access for smartphone device users to view SharePoint. SharePoint 2013 will offer two new views in addition to its classic view: a contemporary view and a full desktop view.
5. Managing site permissions is simplified in SharePoint 2013. Will makes it a cinch to share resources, sites, lists, and libraries.
6. Brings richer themes. It will present a nicer look and feel via its themes, with a way to add a background image to the page.
7. Metro becomes the default UI for SharePoint 2013. The Metro UI style, a heavily designed content-focused user interface used already in Windows 8, will be used.
After reading about the seven new and enhanced features and capabilities, it may now be more convincing for customers to try SharePoint 2013.
SharePoint 2013 is sure to be a popular collaboration server for any organization. Microsoft assures it will not only transform the way people work but also drive their business productivity and collaboration.