Prepping for Olympics and SharePoint 15

Greetings from the International Broadcast Center (IBC) at London 2012 Olympics! On July 4th, while friends and family thousands of miles away celebrated, I reported to work for NBC Olympics, where, as many of you know, I am serving as Microsoft Technologies Consultant until the torch is extinguished on August 12th.

It’s a herculean sprint as we build an enterprise where 3,000 people will work—several hundred arrive every day now—while walls are being built, cables being run, and infrastructure being deployed. I'm focused on SharePoint, Active Directory, management (policy and scripting), and everything that helps users get their jobs done.

While we sprint toward Opening Ceremonies (July 27th is our D-Day), Microsoft is putting forth a gold-medal-worthy effort, delivering and over-delivering on promises for its next waves of products. This week, as a reflection of this very fragmented work life here in London, I’d like to break the news into bits and share with you what’s been happening both here in London and in the broader SharePoint community.

Here's what's going on:
  • Mainstream Support Ending for SharePoint 2007 and WSS v3. This isn't “news”—it’s been known for quite a while—but many people haven't heard that mainstream support for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 will end on October 9, 2012. Extended support will be provided through October 10, 2017. But there will be no more hotfixes issued, except for security fixes. You can learn more about the difference between mainstream and extended support here: Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ.

  • Cumulative updates Issued for SharePoint 2007 and WSS v3.0
  • NBC SharePoint farm. Here at NBC Olympics I’ve configured our SharePoint farm to support SharePoint workloads for 3,000 users. SharePoint proves so valuable as a way to consolidate and present information from a wide variety of people, teams, sources, and other applications. Our intranet and collaboration (team site) environments are exploding as people come on board. For these Games, we’re automating more business procedures, including IT operational procedures, such as laptop checkout, SharePoint site provisioning, monitoring for rogue computers on our network, and managing support (Help desk) issues. I’ll certainly document as much as possible when the Games are complete, but I wanted to share a couple of screenshots of the SharePoint farm with you this week:
    NBC Olympics Intranet Home Page

    NBC Olympics IT Home Page
  • SharePoint guidance video. Many of you follow me specifically for my guidance regarding SharePoint governance. I was lucky enough to speak with hundreds of organizations over the last year, in every corner of the globe, and to refine my model and my message about end-to-end SharePoint governance. The latest version of my 75-minute presentation was delivered at TechEd Europe at the end of June. That video is now online, and you can watch the presentation streaming, or download it in a variety of formats for offline viewing. You can find the video on Channel 9. You can find all of the TechEd Europe presentations here.

  • Office 365 changes. I hope you’ve been following what Microsoft has been announcing recently. This week, at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), Microsoft announced some changes on the business side of Office 365 that will enable a new surge of services that integrate with and add value to Office 365. They also announced the dates for release and availability of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, which fall into the August – October time frame. And Microsoft announced incredibly aggressive pricing for upgrades to Windows 8: $39, which I think will help Microsoft rapidly build a Windows 8 user base, which will then translate into momentum for its new Marketplaces. 

  • Wave 15 launch to come. So Microsoft has let most of its cats out of the bag: SmartGlass, Azure IaaS, WAAD, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows Phone 8, Yammer, Surface… the list goes on. There’s only one piece still behind the curtain: Wave 15 of Office, Exchange, Lync, SharePoint and, together, Office 365. The launch will come soon—Microsoft promised “summer 2012” for a public beta and it has come in early on every major milestone this year. So we’re clearly right on top of the dates for the big reveal.

    If you look at the common themes across all recent announcements, products, platforms, and acquisitions, it doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict many of the themes that will be incorporated in Wave 15. And, I might add, 2012 has been the year of “surprises” from Microsoft. I expect the Wave 15 launch to be a juggernaut, with lots to cheer about, lots of questions to get answered, and some surprises that make us go, “I can’t believe Microsoft had the guts to do that!”

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