Office Web Apps Infrastructure Considerations

I’ve recently been involved in a somewhat unusual client engagement, in that I was designing and delivering the infrastructure without knowing the shape of the IA or solution architecture. Obviously, this imposed some restrictions on what we could define, but it also meant that I had to handle some aspects of the engagement that would normally be taken care of by other colleagues. To that end, I suppose some of these considerations aren’t purely infrastructure-specific, but they could be in an engagement like this one and they’re things that infrastructure people should understand. Hopefully it’ll be useful for solutions people as well.

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Office 2010 image background removal

The Office Engineering blog recently published an excellent overview of Office 2010 image background removal. These image tools in Office 2010 are some of the most useful new features.
“Background Removal is a new feature in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook that makes this process quick and easy for any picture. Unlike similar tools, the Office Background Removal tool doesn’t just select color ranges or trim to a border you draw. Background Removal uses new capabilities and algorithms from the Microsoft Research and Development team in Cambridge, UK to achieve better results automatically with very little effort or fine tuning from the user.”

SharePoint history and pre-history

Jeff Teper, the Microsoft SharePoint Corporate Vice President has posted a history of SharePoint on the team blog. Note: it could use a proofread, but I think it’s worth sticking with it if you’re not intimately familiar with the product already.

I found a couple of thing particularly interesting:

  • The Office 2010 Engineering blog. I’m a beta tester for Office 2010 and love it. This looks like an excellent introduction to the new features
  • The Microsoft Townsquare prototype. As Jeff Teper says, it’s interesting for us to see how this publicised work from June 2008 has formed the basis of SharePoint 2010’s social networking features