When Microsoft named the next generation of its collaboration and content management platform SharePoint 2016, it apparently wasn't kidding. Microsoft has announced that SharePoint 2016 won’t be released until 2016 (spring 2016, to be kind of exact). The company had previously said that the new version of SharePoint would be available at the end of this year.
Seth Patton, senior director of product management for the SharePoint team, said in a blog post, “Today, we are confirming that SharePoint Server 2016 will become generally available in Q2 2016, with a public beta planned for Q4 2015."
Microsoft still plans to use the Ignite conference to showcase SharePoint, and the company has reiterated its commitment to continuing to provide an on-premises version of SharePoint.
"We also want to confirm our commitment to delivering on-premises releases of SharePoint for the foreseeable future," wrote Patton. "We envision a future where we will continue to have customers who choose a combination of on-premises, cloud and hybrid deployments for many years to come.”
But, given the timing, one wonders whether Microsoft is hoping that companies will migrate to--or expand their use of--Office 365 (or lean more toward the hybrid point on the spectrum than the on-premise end).
“As we think about the next version of SharePoint Server, we’re paying close attention to trends in content management, team collaboration, user experiences across devices, and how the cloud can be blended into existing on-premises scenarios in new and compelling ways,” said Patton in the post. "In particular we are focused on delivering value to customers as part of their on-premises deployments, while at the same time making it easier to take advantage of cloud innovation thru hybrid deployments of SharePoint Server with Office 365.”
At this point, only time—more time, with the delay—will tell.