Microsoft Corp. has again changed the product name of a shipping product. On Monday, the Redmond, Wash., firm said it was changing the name of its team collaboration technology, SharePoint Team Services, to Windows SharePoint Services.
Microsoft said the change reflects its "commitment to providing strategic platform services that are designed specifically to improve information worker productivity."
The name change follows Microsofts recent decision to change the name of its upcoming server family from Windows .Net Sever 2003 to Windows Server 2003.
Windows SharePoint Services is a Web-based team collaboration environment that allows anyone with a Web browser to create and access virtual workspaces for managing documents, discussions, lists, surveys and other important contextual information, such as team member status and presence.
It is designed as an out-of-the-box solution for team collaboration and built on the Microsoft .Net Framework. New functionality can be added to any Windows SharePoint Services site using server-side ASP.Net controls called Web Parts.
"Windows SharePoint Services is a powerful collaboration platform enabled with Windows Server 2003. In todays world, basic file sharing isnt enough. Windows SharePoint Services is the next-generation platform for file sharing and team collaboration. It redefines the way teams work together and share information, increasing the productivity of your entire company," Bill Veghte, Microsofts corporate vice president of the Windows Server Group, said in a statement.
Microsoft intends to allow a number of its products to take advantage of Windows SharePoint Services, including Office 2003, the next version of Office, the InfoPath information-gathering program, the OneNote note-taking program, the FrontPage Web site creation and management tool, and SharePoint Portal Server. It will also be available for Windows Server 2003 customers by the middle of this year.
However, a Microsoft spokesman told eWEEK on Monday that as packaging "hasnt been finalized for Office 11  or OneNote yet, Windows SharePoint Services will be a free technology available via SharePoint Portal Server Version 2 and Windows Server 2003, where it will be provided as part of a Windows update to Windows Server 2003 customer in mid-2003."
Windows SharePoint Services integration with Office 2003 allows users to collaborate on an ad hoc basis. The check-in/check-out feature of the new Document Workspace lets several information workers work on the same document without overwriting each others changes, allows them to receive real-time notices of changes, and enables them to be connected directly to other editors via Windows Messenger. The Document Workspace connects to a Windows SharePoint Services Web site, where users have access to shared task lists, calendars, discussion strings and new Meeting Workspaces.
Microsofts SharePoint Portal Server will also take advantage of the Windows SharePoint Services platform to deliver cross-site search capability and line-of-business application integration. SharePoint Portal Server also allows portal pages to be created for people, information and organizations, Veghte said.
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