Within each focus point, Riley demonstrated how the new SharePoint product was evolving and maturing into a strong platform for collaboration within the enterprise and on the Internet.
For example, site editing has evolved to make for a much simpler method of live preview, for quick editing of content on the site. This richer editing experience combined with the new ribbon interface make for an almost desktop application feel to your interface. Even the process for adding and removing media elements is similar to that of working with an installed Office app, rather than a Web-based version.
One feature I especially liked was the ability to change your themes. This isn't a new concept by any means, but what was new is how it integrates with your existing Office themes. With Office 2007 (and Office 2010), you can create themes in one app, then use them in others. Your PowerPoint theme for a particular presentation can be applied to a Word or Excel document, as well as to a SharePoint site, for consistency of formatting. In addition, you can choose one of many prepared site themes or create your own through the themes developer.
From the content perspective, new features like Managed Metadata can help perform tasks such as tagging data; you can also use the new Navigation Hierarchy filtering control to locate that data again. Another new feature is Document Sets, which allow you to manage entire groups of documents as aggregate entities. In addition, the workflow process has been enhanced to provide for better management of processes and tasks relating to your content.
One cool new feature is the ability to work with Visio 2010 to design workflows; there's a new template you can pull into Visio 2010 with all the design icons.
Through SharePoint 2010's communities functionality, the social experience is refined to help people make connections and interact (and hopefully collaborate) with their colleagues. I asked Riley if Microsoft has found these tools to be time-wasters for employees: With Twitter and Facebook becoming a time-stealer at many companies, would companies trust similar tools in SharePoint 2010?
Beyond the obvious fact that these tools are not play-oriented in the way a Facebook site can be (that is, Farmville is not an option), Riley explained that such concerns tend to settle down over time. For example, he said that instant messaging early on might have been a time-waster, but today people don't typically use IM to just chat all day long. Instead, it provides for both presence and quick collaboration that many of us can't work effectively without.