I attended a conference on SharePoint 2010 last week with an interest in the direction of the application. As you may know from previous posts, I have been working on developing a corporate Intranet with Microsoft SharePoint. The development is complete, and we are now looking to the future with custom SharePoint applications, workflows, and anything else that colleagues need for collaboration.
A short demo of SharePoint 2010 was shown, and I was mildly disappointed that some of the issues with SharePoint 2008 did not appear to be solved, such as the usability aspect when adding users to sites or groups. (Clicking on the group name in one area will bring up a list of users, but clicking on a group name in another area will bring up the group's permissions, which confuses a lot of users.)
Overall, my impressions of SharePoint 2010 are that Microsoft is jumping on the bandwagon and following in the footsteps of the social networking sites. SharePoint 2010 promotes the user and connections between users and user communities. User profiles are enhanced, and users can provide updates through news feeds and rate data on importance. I'm not entirely sure if companies are looking to fulfil those goals.
According to the SharePoint 2010 seminar speaker, other improved areas include searching, multi-lingual support, reporting, data management/storage, and improved interface. I am interested in this area, and I am sure that I will be using SharePoint 2010 and learning all about it when it is officially released in the coming months.