While Microsoft watchers continue to obsess over Microsofts plans to take on Google, few are paying attention to a family of products that could emerge as one of the main revenue generators for the company over the next few years.
The SharePoint collaboration/workgroup software family could be one of Microsofts sleeper hits in the not-too-distant future—at least based on how hard the company is pushing it to customers.
This week, Microsoft will play host to 1,300 SharePoint customers and partners at its SharePoint 2006 Conference in Bellevue, Wash., where Chairman Bill Gates and other key Microsoft executives are set to extol the virtues of SharePoint to the capacity crowd.
Microsofts SharePoint products include both its SharePoint Server 2007 successor to SharePoint Portal Server 2003, as well as its Windows SharePoint Services Version 3 technologies.
Microsoft has sold more than 75 million SharePoint Portal Server 2003 licenses to date. More than 180 Microsoft partners are building SharePoint solutions. And just about every Windows customer is using Windows SharePoint Services, according to Microsoft officials.
SharePoint could be the product about which Microsoft Business Division President Jeff Raikes was thinking when he predicted the week of May 15 that Microsoft could double its information-worker revenues from 2002 levels to reach $20 billion by 2010. (To meet that goal, Microsoft would have to add $8.4 billion in sales over four years.)