Microsoft is juggling a lot of open projects at the moment and some wonder if the company will be able to deliver on their self imposed release time frames. With Build only two weeks out, Windows Insiders and commentators alike are wondering if they’ll be able to show developers a more polished version of Windows 10. Manufacturers are waiting for waiting for RTM candidates of Windows 10 so they can begin to ship their new wares. Windows Phone OEM’s are left straddled with antiquated phone designs as they too wait for Windows 10 for phone's completion. Those are just some of the consumer-facing projects that are still up in the air.
Enterprise is also waiting for a number of projects to land on their doorstep. Unfortunately, those interested in SharePoint Server news will have to watch the juggling act a little bit longer. SharePoint Server 2016 (I suppose the name was foreshadowing) had been scheduled for release in the second half of 2015 by Microsoft. As of yesterday, however, the Microsoft executives involved with the project are revising that delivery plan. The new plan is to release SharePoint Server 2016 in the second half of next year. A public beta of SharePoint Server 2016 will not be released until later this year, but SharePoint users will probably see some upcoming features at Microsoft’s Ignite conference next month.
While there is no word as to why SharePoint Server is being pushed back, the SharePoint Server team does detail some of the upcoming fixes and features to SharePoint Server 2016.
Improved User Experiences
This time around the SharePoint Server team is spreading their focus around, and one aspect they were keen on was increasing effectiveness. SharePoint Server users will now be able to access an improved mobile environment. From content to people and applications, the mobile experience has been retooled with more touch-based interactions. The SharePoint Server team further clarifies, “it will enable improved user experiences and capabilities derived from innovations in Office 365, available either as part of your on-premises deployment or through a hybrid implementation of SharePoint Server 2016 and Office 365.”
SharePoint Server 2016 will represent Microsoft’s first on-premises server release that will also enable a true hybrid experience with companies existing on-premises investments. SharePoint Server 2016 will integrate with other products like the next release of Windows Server (also being pushed to a later date), next generation SQL Server, and Exchange Server 2016. With a standardized set of API’s in SharePoint Server 2016, utilizing the combined solutions of Microsoft and other partners whether on premises or in the cloud should make an IT’s world a little bit easier to manage.
Compliance and Reporting
SharePoint Server 2016 will enable data encryption and compliance tools for both on-premises servers and Office 365 for administrators. With Microsoft’s investments in Data Loss Prevention (DLP), the SharePoint Server team is looking to provide users a broader array keeping sensitive data secure.
Lastly, those interested in the public beta can nominate their company to be a part of the Technology Adoption Program (TAP). TAP functions much like the Windows Insider program where companies will have the advantages of providing feedback to early releases of SharePoint, Project Server and or Exchange Server. Guest also build better relationships with the SharePoint team and receive Pre-Release information about future SharePoint Server related projects.