SharePoint 2013 Goes Mobile

Andrew Froehlich, Network Engineer & IT Consultant | 11/26/2012 | 27 comments

Andrew Froehlich
Microsoft is taking Sharepoint 2013 on the road. With a fresh focus on mobile, they are making a strong case for upgrading.

The popular file sharing and collaboration tool has long been a one-stop shop for project managers, software developers, and the sales team. However, as workforces have gotten more mobile, the need to support Sharepoint on smartphones and tablets has increased. At the same time, social networking is changing the way we collaborate.

Sharepoint 2013 integrates social networking features, including the ability to "follow" certain users, and the ability to suggest documents you might be interested in based on your document history.

In order to accomplish this goal, they addressed deficiencies when it comes to mobility. With Sharepoint 2010, if you want mobile access, you have two options -- use a mobile browser or purchase third-party apps.

There are many complaints with mobile Web browser access for SharePoint 2010. There are browser compatibility problems, and sites are rendered in a very antiquated, clunky mobile format. It's just not a mobile platform that you want to use on a regular basis. The only mobile OS that works well with SharePoint 2010 is Windows Phone 7 -- but since the market share for these phones is so low, it's almost a moot point.

Third-party apps available for iOS and Android help, but they lack consistency across the different apps and mobile operating systems so they are a nightmare to support.

With Sharepoint 2013, it seems like Microsoft is on the right path. For one, the SharePoint team is ramping up efforts to make the mobile browser experience much more enjoyable. According to Microsoft's Website: "SharePoint Server 2013 offers improvements to the mobile browser experience with the introduction of a new contemporary view."

Even more importantly, Microsoft is finally getting around to making native apps for smartphones and tablets. It's well known that native apps are preferred by most users, and I believe that the addition of native apps will really take off within the enterprise and bring SharePoint social networking use to a whole new level. Even though Microsoft seems to be working on Windows Phone and iOS versions of native apps, it's probably only a matter of time before an Android app becomes available.

If you're considering a business collaboration tool or are looking to upgrade from SharePoint 2010, it looks as if there are a number of features that justify using the 2013 update. The new upgrades to social networking will certainly make it more functional. But the focus on mobility will really make your teams far more productive in and out of the office.

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batye   SharePoint 2013 Goes Mobile   1/1/2013 11:46:36 PM
Re: Social networking & mobility
@ Susan...  dismiss "social media" for the Co. this days is road toward the failure...

on the other hand I agree with Andrew... - Microsoft is on right path with taking Sharepoint 2013 on the road. - I see in my other places Microsoft started playing it cards right...
Susan Nunziata   SharePoint 2013 Goes Mobile   12/5/2012 7:56:34 PM
Re: Social networking & mobility
@Andrew: Thanks, those are good examples of metrics CIOs can use to make their case, especially on the mobility side. it will be some time, I think, before busiensses fully appreciate the productivity values of social collaboration tools in the workplace, only because most bosses dismiss "social media" as something their kids do. 
zerox203   SharePoint 2013 Goes Mobile   11/30/2012 5:53:31 PM
Re: The next Logical step
"Microsoft says it will add new features to Sharepoint every 90 days."

@Trek, That does sound cool, and I'm sure it will work out great as a marketing scheme. However, for more savvy users, it does sort of smell of  features that could be in the program at launch  being withheld just to pad out this program. Reminds me of the uproar in the games industry when a publisher bills content as 'exclusive post-release' and it turns out the content was on the disc the whole time locked behind a paywall. But, we all know Microsoft would never do something like that, right..... right?
Taimoor Zubair   SharePoint 2013 Goes Mobile   11/30/2012 12:03:49 AM
Good news!
This is just great! I was hoping for this for a long time. .
Skr2011   SharePoint 2013 Goes Mobile   11/28/2012 1:14:39 PM
Re: The next Logical step
@Trek I agree. Apple needs to keep up! Step up and move!!
zerox203   SharePoint 2013 Goes Mobile   11/28/2012 3:22:05 AM
Re: SharePoint Goes Mobile
To be honest, I think it's a very smart move from Microsoft to make a big play into their own mobile device market while simultaneously bolstering their presence on the existing mobile platforms. As someone else said, it reminds consumers of how ubiquotous microsoft once was in any-and-all tech related spaces. I don't know if it's been dumb luck, or a carefully calculated move, but it does seem like everything has been coming out all at once this year, giving them a big upsurge.

Who knows if it will really work out for them in terms of recapturing the market share? Even if it doesn't, though, plenty of good prodcuts and services are bound to come out of it, so it's good news for us.
mejiac   SharePoint 2013 Goes Mobile   11/27/2012 4:24:45 PM
Re: The next Logical step
@Trek, I really do hope that this is true. Microsoft is making some very strategic moves in the industry, so let's just hope they stick once the rubber meets the road.
Trek   SharePoint 2013 Goes Mobile   11/27/2012 4:19:57 PM
Re: The next Logical step
I think this is where Microsoft is closing in on the kill.  With Sharepoint, Office 365, Windows 8, native apps and now making their own hardware, Microsoft is creating a seamless experience and reasserting that it's a Microsoft world. 
mejiac   SharePoint 2013 Goes Mobile   11/27/2012 4:13:03 PM
Re: The next Logical step

Thanks for the info. And I agree, maybe Microsoft is following the same model as updates for smartphone apps, where a simple click will update the app and be done with it.

Now, from an enterprise point of view, this those raise the question of performance and compatibility. Imaging you have a Sharepoint wit custom code set up and running smoothly, then an update makes everything go bananas because of a conflict.

I think these might lead to logistics nightmares.
Trek   SharePoint 2013 Goes Mobile   11/27/2012 4:10:04 PM
Re: The next Logical step
Microsoft says it will add new features to Sharepoint every 90 days.  That is quite a task and great for consumers if they can accomplish that.  They must have a back log of features they can add just in case.  Though, if they do this, I wonder what they will have in store the next time they decide to roll out another version.

One thing I think Microsoft has done smartly is that it is making upgrades easier and less costly than in the past. 


Click this image to zoom into the model: SharePoint 2013 upgrade process
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