I just bumped into the SharePoint Conference 2011 on the Internet today ( http://www.mssharepointconference.com/Pages/default.aspx ). I remember not too long ago that this conference was the Office Developer Conference (maybe 2 years back) and now I see not one reference to Microsoft Office in the site for that conference. I find that pretty amazing and pretty sad.
I then searched the Internets for “Microsoft Office Conferences” and got nothing but old conferences from 2008 and earlier.
I don’t know about you, but I find that really unfortunate and I guess we have to accept that the next step will be Microsoft Office Excel, Access, Word etc. to simply become a subset of Microsoft SharePoint officially and lose their identity as a group or even as anything more important than InfoPath (which I have never found any use for) or OneNote (which is a great end-sure tool for ONE purpose BTW) and other minor Microsoft technologies.
I don’t think I’m just being a pathetic old man when I say that I don’t exactly think this is a good thing for anybody (including Microsoft IMHO). I am seeing more and more interest in getting better results out of Excel lately (especially around PowerPivot) and data and I am actually finding renewed interest in Access and Access Services.
Unless these products can get some kind of separate identity away from “under” the SharePoint umbrella though, I think a lot of good opportunities for business will be lost and a lot of people will just go away before somebody realizes the strength of the the products and their fundamental function and potential contribution in today’s business environment.
But I guess I’ll go back to being an “Old Fart” and watch.