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Microsoft SharePoint Is Revamped For Mobile, Cloud

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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SharePoint finally arrives for the mobile world with apps for iOS, Android and Windows 10

Microsoft SharePoint is getting a major update as the company revamps its collaboration software for a cloud-first, mobile world for working.

Sharepoint has been around for 15 years now and is integrated with Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365. It allows businesses to manage content, build intranet websites, and organise files, among other things but critics have argued that it had not adapted to changing ways of work.

Indeed, rivals such as Slack, Dropbox and others have presented the software with stiff competition in recent years. But Microsoft has responded and announced that it finally bringing SharePoint to mobile users with iOS, Android, and Windows 10 mobile apps.

SharePoint Overhaul

Microsoft SharePoint 2016 2Essentially, Microsoft is seeking to provide the ability to file share and collaborate across any device. It also wants to give businesses the ability to create mobile and intelligence intranets for both the desktop and mobile, coupled with security, privacy and compliance improvements.

“Today … we unveiled a new cloud-first, mobile-first vision and roadmap for SharePoint, along with innovations that empower people, teams and organizations to intelligently discover, share and collaborate on content from anywhere and on any device,” said Jeff Teper, corporate vice president for the OneDrive and SharePoint teams. “We also announced general availability of SharePoint Server 2016.

“Today, we reveal our vision for unified access and intelligent discovery for all of your Office 365 files, making it easier than ever for you to create, share, collaborate on and manage documents from anywhere, on any device.

“You’ll love that files find you, instead of you having to find files, whether you’re using one of our 4+ star-rated mobile apps or the intuitive browser experience,” he said. “And when you want files with you on the road, we give you rock-solid, selective sync between your PC and Mac and offline files on your mobile device.”

Microsoft SharePoint 2016 1

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Improved Collaboration

Users gain collaboration features and file sharing whilst working Office applications, and can co-author documents in real time, compare document versions, update metadata and share with colleagues, without leaving the application itself.

Microsoft said it will be providing the ability to access SharePoint Online document libraries and Office 365 Group files from the OneDrive mobile app.

Also coming are document analytics, improved synchronisation of SharePoint Online document libraries, mobile access to SharePoint document libraries in on-premises farms, and the ability to move and copy files between OneDrive and SharePoint in web experiences.

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The intranet capabilities have also been reworked to offer up improved content collaboration, across the business and on the go. It controls have also been tweaked to ensure businesses can achieve the right balance between security and user productivity.

And Microsoft’s credentials as a champion for user privacy have also been reinforced with the news that by the end of the year businesses will be able to manage their own keys to encrypt their data stored in SharePoint.

It is a busy time for Microsoft’s developers. Earlier this week Redmond revealed that it will be releasing SQL Server 2016 into general availability on 1 June, one year after the launch of its initial public preview.

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