As readers of this newsletter know, I've been referring to Office 14 as Office 2010 just as a "wild guess," but it appears that the name might stick. Last week, during his annual “Strategic Update” briefing with Wall Street analysts, Steve Ballmer disclosed that Office 14 won’t be shipping in 2009. "The next big innovation milestone is Office 14, our next Office release," Ballmer said, "Which will not be this year." His announcement appeared to apply to both the client (Office applications) and server (SharePoint) product lines, as it should--it wouldn't make much sense to release the two separately. It also means that the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, which I'd hoped would be the "coming out" party for Office 2010, might be a bit early for that to happen. I'm sure Microsoft has plenty of business reasons why it's not releasing Office in 2009, and why it hasn't even laid out a roadmap for a beta release quite yet. But one thing's for sure: With the current economic climate, and 2009 budgets already "set in stone" for most enterprises, it makes sense to release Office in the first part of next year, when (we hope) the economy and therefore IT budgets can start to loosen up. Sounds to me like your 2009 roadmap should include continued movement on Office 2007 and preparations to deploy Windows 7. Office and SharePoint 2010 won't be your priority quite yet. A transcript of the Strategic Update, which is actually an interesting look into the business of Microsoft for those of us who don't spend our days dissecting its numbers, can be found here.
Restoring a Site Collection into a Different Managed Path
Fellow SharePoint MVP Randy Williams came across an interesting challenge recently. He was working with a client to create a "sandbox" of a production site collection. For example, taking http://intranet and creating a copy of it in a different managed path, such as http://intranet/test. It didn't work out quite as smoothly as he had hoped, and along the way Gary Lapointe's most excellent STSADM Extensions came to the rescue. This type of "sandbox copy" is a great idea in many environments where the reality of SharePoint is that there's not as clean a separation between test and production as one would hope. Randy's blog post is a good read, both for the solution he was building as well as the fix he applied and the reason that fix was necessary for a publishing-enabled site collection.
Ramp Up Part 2
Microsoft's Ramp Up effort, designed to help developers, well, "ramp up" their SharePoint dev skills, hit another milestone with the release of SharePoint for Developers Part 2. If you're a newer developer, or are looking to refresh your existing skills, check out the resources on Ramp Up.
Running a Mail Server for Development on Windows Server 2008
As more enterprises turn to the (quite fantastic) Windows Server 2008 operating system as a foundation for SharePoint, more developers are discovering that WS2008 doesn't ship with a POP3 service. So if you want to develop workflows, alerts, or other email-related functionality, and assuming you want to separate your dev efforts from your production messaging environment, you'll want to read Reza Alirezai's Blog post in which he details configuring a dev server with SmarterMail. I'd set up my virtual environment with a cheap (but not free) alternative that isn't as good as this free one. Great work, Reza!
WS2008 HyperV Allows Hibernate
When WS2008 was released, I know a lot of dev's raced to put it on their production laptops so that they could develop using Hyper-V virtual machines, only to find out that Hyper-V is incompatible with power options such as hibernation. Guru and great guy Ben Curry got me excited at a reception just tonight when he told me that the Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2 allows hibernation. I might just replace my Windows 7 laptop with a Windows Server 2008 R2 installation, now!