Bill Gates Touts Strong Growth and Enterprise Adoption of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

REDMOND, Wash. — March 2, 2008 —Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates will kick off the Microsoft Office SharePoint Conference 2008 in front of a sold-out audience of customers and industry partners Monday, highlighting the growth and success of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Breaking the milestone of 100 million licenses sold and surpassing sales of $1 billion this year, SharePoint is helping customers solve their most pressing information management needs.

“There is an incredible demand today for solutions that help businesses to harness the power of a global work force and tackle the challenges that come with the explosive growth of digital information,” Gates said. “The spectacular growth of SharePoint is the result of the great combination of collaboration and information management capabilities it delivers. I believe that the success we’ve seen so far is just the beginning for SharePoint.”

SharePoint continues to gain popularity as thousands of companies ranging from small organizations such as the Eureka, Mo., fire department to Fortune 500 companies such as the Kroger Co. and Monsanto Co. — discover how it can dramatically improve the way they connect people, process and information together. In addition, over 17,000 businesses, such as General Mills Inc., are using SharePoint to tackle their most pressing information management needs all from a single location where employees can collaborate with team members, search and create social networks for experts and corporate information, manage content and workflow, and leverage business insight to make better-informed decisions. Due to overwhelming customer demand, the 2,250 certified SharePoint partners are finding SharePoint to be a gold mine of opportunity.

“Prior to SharePoint, very few workers at General Mills had an official ‘home’ site,” said Elliot Gerard, a technology manager at General Mills. “Now most do. It is where they share information, exchange ideas, track tasks, write documentation, survey, discuss, contact each other, store assets and search for information. Almost every week we are astounded by the organic applications our users create in SharePoint to make themselves more productive and the blossoming SharePoint social networks connecting people to people. SharePoint is the information worker enabler at General Mills.”

Gates will address Microsoft’s plans to continue to invest in and innovate on SharePoint, with the goal of helping customers realize even greater value and choice as a result of making SharePoint a part of their productivity infrastructure. Specifically, Gates will announce the following:

  • Expansion of Microsoft Online Services. Tomorrow Microsoft will announce it will offer Microsoft Online Services to businesses of all sizes. The services include Exchange Online and SharePoint Online, available as a per-user subscription service. In addition, Microsoft opened a limited beta trial of the new services; U.S.-based companies can register for the trial at The new services are scheduled to be generally available to businesses of all sizes in the second half of the year. To help companies take advantage of Microsoft Online Services, Microsoft will introduce a new licensing model with flexible options for customers. More information about these announcements can be found at

    “We are taking another big step forward in our software plus services evolution to deliver solutions that give customers choice and flexibility, whether those solutions are Web-based, managed on site or anywhere in between,” said Chris Capossela, senior vice president, Information Worker Group, Microsoft. “Microsoft Online Services, including Exchange Online and SharePoint Online, also give partners opportunities to develop new services that expand customer reach and generate new revenue.”

  • General availability of Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express. Microsoft will also announce the availability of Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express, a free, downloadable enterprise search product that combines simplicity and ease of use with a powerful set of search features. Announced in November, Search Server 2008 Express combines simplicity of installation and ease of use with a powerful set of search features, including new capabilities that help businesses connect to a wide range of information. Search Server 2008 Express will be available for download tomorrow. More information is available at

  • Silverlight Blueprint for SharePoint.Microsoft will also announce the availability of Silverlight Blueprint for SharePoint. Customers want to build rich Internet applications that combine the power of Web technologies with rich interactivity. Silverlight BluePrint for SharePoint jump-starts the effort to combine the right interactivity of Silverlight with the next-generation Web application development platform of SharePoint. The Blueprint provides the following:

    • Sample applications that combine Silverlight and SharePoint

    • Detailed guidance and proven best practices

    • New rich business data visualizations and interactivity

Customers can download Silverlight Blueprint for SharePoint at

More information about Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and how businesses are using it today at can be found at

More information on the Microsoft Office SharePoint Conference can be found at

More information on news happening at the conference, including partner announcements, can be found at the SharePoint Conference virtual pressroom at

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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