Sometimes it helps our understanding of how a product fits in with the way we work by learning how the product evolved. Rarely is evolution purely an accident, a product evolves in response to the way its used and if its not used it wont be around very long. SharePoint has been around for almost 15 years and if my view of its history is correct then its nearer 20 years.
FrontPage handled the whole process of creating a site and its pages then finally publishing this to a web server. This enabled users within an organisation to create intranets without requiring any knowledge of the technology underneath. Publishing rights could be restricted and server side functionality powering web feedback forms was all built-in and very easy to use. The admin pages for this functionality are web based and share the look and feel of SharePoint admin pages to this day.
The conflict of interest between creating internet web pages and using Microsoft technologies to create an intranet became too great and the product split in two. Expression Web and SharePoint.
Expression Web continued for 4 versions and was made available as a free product in December 2012 and is still available to download from Microsoft. The product’s demise can be put down to the way modern websites are built, based databases and dynamic content rather than simple HTML pages. Dynamic web pages are better dealt with in a programming environment, which for Microsoft is Visual Studio.
The intranet side of things has progressed nicely since FrontPage and evolved into SharePoint 2013 and the pending 2016 release.
SharePoint Version History
As you can see SharePoint is a product that has been evolved over the last 15 years. The core principals are the same across all the versions, providing a list with a web front end including sorting and filtering features. The document library has stood the test of time and is central to many SharePoint sites.