The Top 12 Microsoft BPOS Requests: Time for a SaaS App Store?
Over at the Microsoft Online Services team blog, there’s a post called “Help us continue to improve BPOS,” which outlines the top 12 BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite) features customers are requesting. Microsoft says user feedback will help to shape the company’s ongoing SaaS strategy. But based on rumors we’ve heard, we wonder if the Microsoft SaaS strategy includes a BPOS App Store for third-party developers. Here’s why.
The VAR Guy’s bloggers have been hearing BPOS App Store rumblings for a while now. For starters, BPOS includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online and Office Live Meeting. But as you know, there are hundreds — perhaps thousands — of developers who are adding value to platforms like SharePoint and Exchange. So, will Microsoft create some sort of BPOS App store to promote those third-party offierings?
Perhaps the Microsoft Online Services team blog offers some clues. I won’t repeat all twelve points from the blog entry here, but here are the ones that stuck out to me:
- SharePoint Enterprise Features: Anonymous access and extranet capability, cross site-collection search, BI features, “social” features like tagging and more
- More Configuration Control: Remote Powershell, large batch processing, more control over policies and settings
- More API’s and application integration opportunities
Microsoft freely admits that they can’t address every suggestion on that list. If users really want more application integration, more social features, and more policy control, and Microsoft wants to spend more time developing their core engine, we wonder: Could some sort of BPOS app store be in the waiting?