Microsoft has announced the next version of SharePoint, to be called SharePoint Server 2016. Though it will not be released until the second half of 2015, not likely before September, there will be a preview version at the big Ignite conference in Chicago in May (Ignite replaces all the previous standalone conferences for SharePoint, Office and other products).
SharePoint 2016 (SP16) will be rolled-out with the next version of Office, Office 2016, and we can also expect new versions of Exchange and Skype for Business, which replaces Lync.
Microsoft Delve (code name: Oslo), now part of Office 365, and soon to be part of SharePoint
Though only about one-third of companies using SharePoint have rolled-out the current version, SharePoint 2013, which among other things features search, social networking, content management, collaboration, among other bells and whistles, the new SP16 will likely integrate some of the latest bells and whistles now being rolled-out on Office 365 (the cloud version of Office, which includes the cloud version of SharePoint, SharePoint Online). Some of these new features we should expect include:
Online tech news website Neowin also leaked news on additional functionality that can be expected in SP16:
Read the Microsoft announcement on the Microsoft Office blog, the Evolution of SharePoint.
SharePoint 2016, like Office 2016, is expected to be the last big-bang release of its flagship enterprise technology platform as Microsoft pushes customers to the cloud, where releases will be smaller, frequent, and more easily and quickly rolled-out.
Again, while the official announcement on the expected features and functionality, and the official date, won’t likely be announced until the Ignite conference in May, don’t expect SharePoint 2016 to hit the mainstream market before October.
What does this mean for intranets? Most intranets will likely be in the cloud, within 4-6 years. So too will SharePoint; SharePoint Online will be but one of the jewels in the Office 365 crown cloud, and expect it to be more robust, more complex, and more nimble than the traditional on premises versions.