Until recently, the penetration of Microsoft's products, mainly Windows and Microsoft Office, into the enterprise space has gone mostly unchallenged. While years ago, one may have been lucky to find one or two businesses in a city having anything to do with Linux or Chrome OS, even on their backend, the two are now staples of the business world. Likewise, Microsoft's SharePoint collaboration software has been losing ground to Google's products, as well as third-party competitors like Box and Slack. In use for the past fifteen years by businesses of various sizes around the world, SharePoint is good and ready for a refresh at this point. According to an announcement made by Microsoft on Wednesday, that's exactly what's going to happen.
The biggest part of the revamping of SharePoint is the creation of a mobile app that can keep collaboration going and help workers get organized and get things done on the go. The app will feature most of the main capabilities of SharePoint, at least on the user end, such as access to the company intranet and files. It will be available for Android, iOS and Windows 10 Mobile. While Android and Windows 10 Mobile will be getting the app a bit later on, the iOS version will drop by the end of this June. The core SharePoint program, on the other hand, will be offering a key enhancement; the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
SharePoint will mine data from email correspondence between users on the network, as well as Microsoft's own Office products, to show users the content and people it deems most likely to interact with in a more prominent fashion, as well as enabling managers and other higher-ups to see what their employees have been up to and step in at any point in the process to advise or take over. A.I. and machine learning features will help SharePoint to learn individual users' roles and needs over time. For the 200,000-strong list of businesses that use SharePoint, features aimed at helping with the ages-old business problem of having to wade through irrelevant materials to get work done will be good news.