Microsoft touts SharePoint plans

The company announces a new name and integration plans for its software designed to give workers a common environment in which to share information and documents.

Microsoft announced a new name and new integration plans on Monday for its collaboration software.

SharePoint Team Services , server software that gives workers a common environment in which to share information and documents, will now be known as Windows SharePoint Services, Microsoft said.

Microsoft also announced that support for SharePoint would be built into more products, including Office 11, the next version of the company's productivity package; InfoPath, upcoming software for creating and using electronic forms; OneNote, an upcoming note-taking tool; and FrontPage, Microsoft's long-running Web design software. Windows SharePoint Services support will also be built into SharePoint Portal Server, Microsoft's server software for building corporate portals that serve as a central access point to company data.

Collaboration software has becoming a growing emphasis for Microsoft and other software makers, as companies look to increase the utility of their electronic documents by allowing geographically separated employees to use the Internet to work together on documents. Oracle introduced a collaboration product last year, tapping into the same market as start-ups such as Groove Networks and content management software makers such as Documentum .

Microsoft has touted SharePoint's foundation on Microsoft.Net, the software giant's overarching design for Web services, and its ability to work with a variety of data sources.

Microsoft said Windows SharePoint Services will be available to Windows Server 2003 users by midyear.

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