Today marks the official launch of Office / SharePoint 2010, with Microsoft hosting various "launch parties" around the world.
Microsoft and its partners have good reason to party, but for you the celebrations around SharePoint in particular could come prematurely. For nearly all of you reading this post -- whether employing SharePoint already or considering it for your enterprise -- you will do well to wait six to nine months before adopting the new version in a production environment.
The concern here is not so much about serious bugs or security flaws. Redmond seems to have done a good job unit-testing this go-round. That's why I don't consider a forthcoming "Service Pack 1" as the magic time to take the leap to the new version.
Rather, the challenge you face is that SP2010 has seen only limited exposure in what the military calls "live-ammunition exercises." That's where the real lessons get learned.
Here's what's going to happen over the next year:
- A large array of best practices will emerge, some from Microsoft, others via community debate and hard experience that you can't get from beta environments
- Various new migration and implementation approaches will be considered, while others discarded
- We are going to learn how the variety of new or updated functional services work at true scale
- The all-important consulting/integrator channel -- whom Redmond says will participate in 60-80% of your implementations -- is going to trip and skin their knees on their early clients
More so than previous releases, Microsoft has really pitched IT teams hard on this one, and created a sense of urgency around adopting the new platform.
The real story is more mixed. In some cases, SP2010 offers impressive new features; in others (e.g., WCM and Social Computing) Redmond continues to play catch-up with competitors who innovate more quickly. You may become a lonely voice of prudence in your organization, but don't let that stop you from pushing back against the hype.
So, raise a toast to SP2010. Then put down your glass and watch for a while.