The big meeting room was buzzing with electricity as we all settled into our seats to hear what the SharePoint team wished to share with us. The preparation emails had given but a little hint on what was happening in our SharePoint world.
When the keynote ended, I felt a whoosh of delight. The SharePoint team was not only being candid with us but also looking to get feedback, thoughts and ideas from us who crowded the room. Still, the most exciting thing was the message [NOTE: this is purely PRE-RELEASE info]:
SharePoint is going towards more and more open source coding
Mobile leads development
They were pretty clear on this one. All develoment is done mobile first. Not desktop first keeping mobile in mind but actually mobile first, then desktop experienve.
If I had a euro for each time a customer has asked me: "But where's the SharePoint here in O365? There's only this Sites... is that it? But how do I find my workspaces if I haven't followed them?" As far as I understood, SharePoint Home will asnwer this question once and for all. It's where SharePoint is, it's where the workspaces are.
A lot of nice new features are coming to SharePoint
Office UI Fabric
In addition to this new more open way of developing for SharePoint, Microsoft is providing a "fabric" of CSS and (HTML) controls for unified look and feel of any app or add-in that made for Office environments. It provides a grid for responsive design, fonts, animations etc. to be used freely - but no one is forcing it either.
One thing the Microsoft people really emphasized: the old way is not going away; this new model simply enable more.
Dev Kitchen was a very social three day "training". Sure, Microsoft people were giving sessions on what they are working on, the technologies that are used and there were hands-on labs to try out the things in a test environment. However, there was also a lot of discussion of ideas and questions and priorities and wishes and whatnot. There were a lot of people already getting their hands dirty with the new stuff, trying out real life scenarios and showing their work in demo sessions.
Now the team is ready to come out with the stuff, but this is only the beginning. A lot is brewing in the SharePoint Dev Kitchen and it will be truly interesting to see the outcome!