Microsoft Announces SharePoint 2016 General Release for Q2-2016

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In a recent announcement, Microsoft confirmed a new version of its popular SharePoint Server will hit the market for “general availability” sometime in the 2nd quarter of 2016. A public beta version will be available in the 4th quarter of this year explains the software giant.

Although many businesses have moved their content management and collaboration tools to the cloud, Microsoft says it will continue to develop “on-premises” deployments of SharePoint “for the foreseeable future.” With this in mind, Microsoft explains it is focusing on hybrid deployments so companies can more easily blend the cloud with their existing on-premises server infrastructure.

Microsoft goes on to explain the three major areas where users can expect to see enhancements with SharePoint 2016.

Improved User Experiences

Being able to access information remotely is not just a luxury anymore, it’s critical, which is why SharePoint 2016 will include even better mobile access and “touch-based experiences” for all devices and screen sizes. Advancements in cloud-based applications like Office Graph and Delve will allow users to easily find contextually relevant information and data stored either on-site or on the cloud.

Users will also enjoy more streamlined communications due to better integration of SharePoint 2016 with Microsoft Exchange and Yammer. File storage and document collaboration will be more “people-centric” according to Microsoft.

Cloud-inspired Infrastructure

SharePoint 2016 will also include several enhancements for cloud-based file sharing and collaboration. Although many companies now use the cloud, there are others who prefer to keep their server on site. The new SharePoint will include “hybrid” options that will allow companies to pick and choose which applications and files they want to use in the cloud, and which ones they prefer to keep on site.

Improved integration with Windows Server and Exchange Server 2016 will make user training and IT management much easier.

Compliance and Reporting

Keeping data secure is a top priority for business executives and IT personnel. Microsoft understands how devastating security breaches can be, which is why SharePoint Server 2016 will include new features for ensuring any sensitive information is secure. These compliance tools will be available for both the on-premises and Office 365 cloud version of SharePoint.

Microsoft also explains how the 2016 version will have improved self-service capabilities for ensuring content is used in accordance with company policies.

IT professionals and business executives will be able to get a glimpse of SharePoint 2016’s features at the company’s Ignite event in Chicago from May 4th through May 8th. Or, a company can apply to Microsoft’s Technology Adoption Program and be at the forefront of this next generation of SharePoint.