Microsoft are making some changes to the naming of things in SharePoint 2010, the most obvious being the dropping of the word “Office” from the main product name. A rather larger change of name is Windows SharePoint Services becoming SharePoint Foundation.

Confusing though this change may be, I think it’s a good one. I’ve seen a lot of people get confused over the differences between WSS and MOSS. Without seriously digging into the features, it’s hard to understand why they should pay for MOSS, rather than just go with the licenses for WSS they already have. The new name makes it clear from the outset that SharePoint Foundation is the foundation level for a SharePoint solution. It’s there to be built on top of by the main product.

As with WSS and MOSS, SharePoint Foundation will provide the basic functionality necessary for a SharePoint deployment and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 will build on top of it to provide rich and valuable solutions to business problems.

SharePoint Foundation provides the ground-level capabilities for sites, communities and content management. It also gives a small amount of features for search and composites. It may be enough to solve business problems for some companies but for others, the depth of features provided by Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 standard or enterprise will be required.

If you invest in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 with Software Assurance now, you’ll get the upgrade rights to Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 when it comes out.