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SharePoint Updates and Prereqs

Over recent weeks, Microsoft has worked hard to make it easier to discover what updates (for MOSS 2007 and WSS 3.0) and prerequisites (for SharePoint 2010) are available. First, and most importantly, the Updates Resource Center for SharePoint Products and Technologies went live.

Not sure why it couldn’t have been called the SharePoint Update Center. Perhaps their naming committee is compensated by the word? All kidding aside, the center is a great resource, providing clear high-level instructions for maintaining an up-to-date installation of WSS or MOSS 2007 and links to all applicable updates and to documentation of the gory details. Bravo!

Unfortunately, but understandably, the story isn’t quite so ideal for SharePoint 2010. SharePoint 2010, which was released to Public Beta in mid-November, has a lengthy list of prerequisites, which gets confusing when you add to the mix the various flavors of SQL Server, Windows Server, and Windows clients you might be using. There are also workarounds and hotfixes to the software, which isn't surprising given its beta stage.

Of course, there’s no “long-winded-name update center” for SharePoint 2010 yet. The best resource for SharePoint 2010 prerequisite guidance is the SharePoint Team Blog and hard-working technical lead Jie Li’s blog. Specifically, Jie posted and seems to be keeping up-to-date a prerequisite list and the team posted a guide to user profile synchronization (which has been problematic in beta) in this post.

On a side note, because we had a long holiday weekend in the USA, I spent time doing something I never take time to do—getting my own home network in order. This involved installation of a brand new home server (an HP MediaSmart E495), reinstallation of my media center PC with Windows 7, and the addition of a 32GB Zune HD to the mix.

I’ve got to say, sometimes Microsoft does things really well. Windows Home Server, the Windows 7 media center experience, and the Zune interface are all mind-blowingly good, and the complete re-engineering of my storage, network, and media went (knock on wood) flawlessly.

The only disappointment was the firewall between the Zune software and Windows Media Player and Media Center—they don’t really talk to each other. But that’s forgivable, to an extent, and understandable given Microsoft’s internally competitive product teams.

The big news, to me, is that if Windows 7, Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Windows Home Server, and Zune are indicative of a trend at Microsoft—and I have to think they are—then I am very excited to see what comes next out of Redmond (Courier, anyone? Windows Mobile 7?). I hope that all of the “geeks” who read this newsletter have a chance to have some fun with Microsoft’s technologies over the holidays!

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