As we wind down 2011, I wanted to take some time to reflect back on an amazing year and share my top 5 observations and thoughts from the past year:

1. We have an AMAZING SharePoint community around the world and locally in the Northeast. During the past year alone we launched new SharePoint user groups and SharePoint Saturdays in Connecticut and New Hampshire. We also continued to build upon the momentum established in 2010 around the SharePoint communities in Massachusetts and upstate New York. As you may know, these events are largely community led and sponsored by our Microsoft customers and partners. Many people give up their evenings and weekends to share lessons learned and best practices for leveraging SharePoint. I am honored to be a member of such a great team!

2. Social computing and innovation management continue to be hot topics of discussion with many of my customers and partners. It is more than just building “Facebook for the enterprise” – it is about driving and sustaining long term changes within our businesses; changing the culture; and how we work and collaborate together. This is an area that I expect to see continued growth and focus on moving into 2012.

3. Office 365 and SharePoint Online are generating significant interest and adoption across customers of all sizes and industries since the 2010 versions were launched in June. This recent interview with Tom Rizzo goes into much more detail on some of the trends we are seeing.

4. As SharePoint turned 10 years old in 2011, there continues to be significant focus and discussion on topics around SharePoint maturity, governance and adoption strategies. Many customers and partners are also looking at SharePoint as an applications platform and for advanced scenarios including enterprise search; Extranets; and public facing websites.

5. It is great to see so many people focusing more on engaging the SharePoint end user community. From the end user focused track at the 2011 SharePoint Conference to the new www.iusesharepoint.com resource site to the great End User SharePoint community site, people are looking for new ways to help the business creatively solve challenges using SharePoint. 2012 will be another great year with many end user focused conferences being held around the world.

In closing, I want to thank all of my customers, partners and colleagues at Microsoft for an amazing 2011. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Chris Bortlik