Windows Azure and Windows Server 2012. Windows 8 and Visual Studio 2012.

Those were the topics grabbing the spotlight here at Microsoft’s TechEd 2012 conference in Orlando. Meanwhile, our favorite Microsoft software—SharePoint—had a very low profile. There were fewer sessions than in years past, and I couldn’t even find a SharePoint kiosk in the Microsoft Technical Learning Center on the exhibit hall floor. (There was a small SharePoint presence in an Office 365 pavilion, but that was about it.)

That’s not to say no one was talking about SharePoint. Most of the talk, though, was centered on the next version of the software, and speculation as to when the beta might be released. The SharePoint product team has been placed in the cone of silence, and information is locked down tight. Folks here are now simply hoping the beta’s out by the time of Microsoft’s conference in November, but there are no guarantees.

Meanwhile, a meeting at the Infragistics booth yielded information about a new custom Grid Web Part built into the NetAdvantage for SharePoint tool that binds to a list for a richer experience that includes inline editing and filtering of list content. A very cool demo.

We’re looking forward to welcoming the SharePoint community to SPTechCon in Boston on July 22-25, where our favorite Microsoft software will be the ONLY topic of training and conversation.

— David