SharePoint's Future...a lot of folks are speculating

SharePoint: The next big ‘operating system’ from Microsoft?

A related article that also demonstrates future direction is:

Microsoft Announces New Package to Extend Microsoft Dynamics ERP Solutions to Microsoft Office Users

SAN DIEGO — March 12, 2007 — Today at Microsoft® Convergence 2007, Microsoft Corp. announced the upcoming availability of a new offering that will help customers extend the power, insights and process control of their Microsoft Dynamics™ enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications to all employees via familiar business productivity tools in the Microsoft Office system.

This new package, Microsoft Dynamics Client for Microsoft Office and SharePoint® Server, contains a collection of up to 12 self-service applications that are built into the Microsoft Office release and SharePoint products and technologies, as well as a license for the recently released Office SharePoint Server 2007. These applications, such as Time and Attendance for Microsoft Dynamics GP, Project Time and Expense for Microsoft Dynamics SL, Microsoft Dynamics Snap Business Data Lookup for Microsoft Dynamics AX, and FRx® WebPort and DrillDown Viewer™, will simplify access to business information and help connect employees more closely with their company’s business processes. Also included in this new offering are licensing rights for customers or industry partners to build their own Office Business Applications, a new category of programs where Microsoft Office becomes the front end for accessing the back-end ERP functionality of Microsoft Dynamics.