The Island of (Microsoft) Misfit Toys


In this special holiday episode of Ask Sympraxis we will be exploring the Island of (Microsoft) Misfit toys. This can be products that never panned out, died too early, or weren’t that great of an idea to start with.

This was essentially more of a “lipstick on a pig” change, with a different UI but fundamentally works the same way. The promise was initially the ability to syndicate content types from the enterprise to different sites. Simply put, a content type gallery that acts like a content type hub.

Document Set Modernization

Document sets were modernized back in 2019, but they now look like little special folders in a document library. Users can click on them, go in and see the documents in them, etc. However, one of the best things about a document set was the welcome page where users could configure web parts and add additional information to decide what we wanted to show about that document set.

Event Recurrence

The modern events web part is slick. Users have all the fields to fill out events in the past, and a classic events list setting as well. Weekly updates are a bit different since they are a weekly occurrence. There’s an option for repeating events, whether the event is weekly, monthly, etc. However, the reoccurring events from the classic version are not available in the modern events.

Page Comments

For page comments, the main idea here is that if users have an important announcement, there are comments down at the bottom to enable engagement. However, if a user is not @ mentioned in the comments, then they do not receive notifications.

SPFx Extension Placeholders

In the SPFx developer’s world, there is a need for the ability to extend to other places on the SharePoint page, like adding things to the menu, etc. Also, users want to be able to put a SPFx solution in the edit display pane of the list item. When users do a list item, there is the default list view item edit experience, users can also put a power app in there, however there is not the ability to put an SPFx solution.

Content Query Web Part

The content query web part was a great solution for users to put data on the screens without having all the skills needed. This feature, however, went away with SharePoint online.

Site Scripts/Designs/Templates

Site Scripts/Designs/Templates are a great way to start provisioning and have some sort of governance on what you do when you provision SharePoint sites. One of the things these features doesn’t do is allow users to add folders or files. Users can create libraries, but they can’t create any of that kind of structure.

Fab 40

The Fab 40 was a gift that Microsoft gave us right after Moss came out in SharePoint 2007, and it included 40 examples of what you could do with SharePoint. Half of them were site templates, and the other half were site definitions. When SharePoint 2010 comes out, users went to upgrade from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010. However, the Fab 40 created installation issues for many users.

Boost News

Boost News is out and available now, however users can only utilize it for a specified time frame. It’s also only available when it’s an organizational news site. The “time to read” feature was also supposed to be available on these news articles and it is missing from the roadmap.

Teams Wiki

This feature is not actually searchable for Microsoft Teams. When right clicking the Wiki to “remove tab,” it also permanently deletes all the content inside. This content then gets made into MHT files in a SharePoint document library, where it gets deleted.

Windows Phone

The Windows Phone contained great hardware with live tiles but lacked apps.

The Graveyard

  • Silverlight
  • InfoPath
  • SharePoint Designer
  • Clippy

Do you have any questions for us? Continue the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #AskSympraxis and mention @SympraxisC.