What a month so far for Microsoft. November 2009 holds many milestones in the development of “Wave 14”, the 2010 series of applications from Microsoft. On November 9, 2009, during the Exchange Connections conference at Mandalay Bay, Microsoft launched the public release of Exchange Server 2010, the latest version of the very successful messaging and collaboration (but mostly messaging) server. Many Las Vegas enterprises use Microsoft Exchange for e-mail, including the MGM Mirage and Station Casinos. Microsoft simultaneously released development tools for Exchange Server 2010, including the Exchange Web Services (EWS) Managed API and a set of Exchange Server 2010 Software Development Kits (SDKs).
The very next week, Microsoft released the first public beta of its flagship office productivity suite, announced during the Microsoft Professional Development Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles, CA. Microsoft Office 2010 was made available for download by TechNet and MSDN subscribers on November 18, 2009. It was available for the general public shortly thereafter. In addition to the base Office 2010 suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, Access, Publisher, PowerPoint, OneNote, InfoPath), Microsoft has released betas for other popular Office applications, Project 2010 and Visio 2010.
Not to be outdone, though completely coordinated with other product groups, the SharePoint team revealed the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 beta also on November 18, 2009. Microsoft hosts an impressive array of developer resources in support of the SharePoint 2010 beta. SharePoint has become one of the fastest growing products for Microsoft.
This latest wave of Microsoft enterprise and productivity applications is, as always it seems, an important one for the company with recent competition arising from sources like Google and with more consideration given to cloud computing solutions. It is also fun for those brave enough to spend some time with the applications to get a preview of new functionality and maybe help find a bug or two.