I’ve been on the run this week, literally and figuratively. So, on Monday when I was watching people complain online about the long download times for the SharePoint 2010 beta. My first thought was, “people, it will still be there tomorrow”.
Seriously, I haven’t voluntarily endured painful waiting since 1975 when I waited in line for tickets to see Pink Floyd perform at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. Back then, you either waited in line at the box office or at a Ticketron outlet. No Internet, no StubHub, no auto-redial phones, not even a GPS to get you to the box office. And, that was worth suffering for; those tickets were not going to be there tomorrow.
Ironically, there are similarities between these two events. The first that comes to mind is remembering that by the time I actually got to see Pink Floyd (in the spring of 1976), I had purchased the latest album and learned all the songs by heart. Likewise, by the time I can actually install SharePoint 2010, I will know everything I need to know to replace our servers and, thanks to the great SP Bloggers, I’ll know the other stuff too. SharePoint, Twitter and the blogosphere create an inverse Donald Rumsfeld effect. “There are the things we know we know, the things we didn’t know we needed to know, but now know. But there are also the things we don’t need to know, that we now know”.
Second, once I actually had those two precious tickets in hand, I could ask the girl I was kinda-sorta dating to go with me to the concert. Date accepted, plans could be made for a trip to Pittsburgh from West Virginia (Go WVU!). Likewise, once we have the beta installed, we can start to make our plans. We can verify that everything; sites, web parts, workflows, etc. works. We can start to prepare our rollout plan. We can prepare our training material. When the ‘safe to install’ version is released, we will be ready to go.
Third, I expect that just as I grew tired of listening to Wish You Were Here, I will grow bored with SP 2010 experiments on our development server long before the final product is released. Also, far in advance of our own install date, I will succumb to temptation and build up unattainable goals for the new version – I will give into and become the hype.
The final thing that I expect SharePoint 2010 to have in common with Pink Floyd is the actual event. By the time the concert date had arrived, I had broken up with the girl I was planning to take to the concert. She wasn’t actually a big fan so I gave her ticket to a buddy who was. While we were worried that the band couldn’t live up to our expectations, they blew them away, and they did it with an old standard – “On The Run” from Dark Side of the Moon. During that song, a 30’ model plane flew down a guy wire from the upper deck cheap seats, crashed into the stage and exploded. OK, maybe that’s a bad example – although I’m sure Microsoft could build a product that would crash and burn, I don’t expect it will be SharePoint 2010. I meant that I expect that what will impress our users is something that SharePoint has always had available but that Microsoft has somehow made better. Maybe that’s why my next post is going to be on Custom Lists.