The next version of SharePoint will be architected and built for the cloud first. So said Jared Spataro, director of SharePoint at Microsoft, to a standing-room-only keynote crowd at SPTechCon San Francisco yesterday.

“For us, the cloud is very much the future,” he said.

In its earlier messaging around SharePoint, Microsoft targeted IT. Going forward, it wants to reach information workers. The goal: 500 million people who “get work done, together. We want to win users,” said Spataro.

He said Microsoft has targeted three main areas for future growth: the cloud, the Web and the social workplace. “We believe in social,” he said, “people working with people effortlessly. We don’t think social is a fad. The types of connections might change, but the connection between people sticks.”

Spataro said social connections have evolved from asynchronous—sending an e-mail that isn’t responded to until later, for example—to real time with ad hoc instant messaging, screen sharing and video; to what he called serendipitous. “I post on my Facebook that I’m at SPTechCon, and a colleague messages me to tell me that Bob is here and I should meet him,” he said.

What Microsoft wants to provide, Spataro said, is one set of tools to communicate in any way with employees, customers and partners, on a connected platform where information is managed, secure, and allows for governance and development.

Microsoft also is pouring resources into the Web, enabling extranets that provide authenticated access to partners, while the cloud will be where users can share e-mail, calendars, instant messaging, video and documents.

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In SPTechCon’s opening keynote, Todd Klindt and Shane Young of SharePoint911 (a Rackspace company) told attendees to get out of their comfort zones if they’re serious about bettering themselves and working better in their organizations. “If you’re a developer, don’t go to developer sessions and sit there and say, ‘Yup, I knew that, and I knew that,’ and be all proud,” Young told the audience.

It’s the walls between IT and developers, and IT and information workers, that inhibit solutions and slow progress. Klindt and Young’s work is based on, and made for a fascinating talk that truly demonstrated what a keynote is supposed to be. Well done, guys, and thanks!