I can’t always be trusted to take things as seriously as I probably should. It just depends on what’s going through my head at the time, and how much coffee I have had or have not had before I'm asked a question.

But all I can tell you is that when I was asked to share my thoughts about Microsoft's decision to delay the release of SharePoint Server 2016, jackass mode was enabled.

We were all expecting SharePoint 2016 to come out this year, and then Seth Patton, senior director of product management for the SharePoint team, writes this blog post that says SharePoint 2016 will become generally available in the second quarter of 2016, with a public beta plan for the fourth quarter of this year.

I said the news triggered a "ripple of sadness" across the Internet. Looking back, I wish I’d have taken the question more seriously. “Ripple of sadness across the internet” might be a little bit of hyperbole. But there were a lot of disappointed people.

Give and Take Away

We’re pretty excited about SharePoint 2016. But after that news people were like, “Oh, I can’t believe it’s not coming out until next year” and, you know, getting their pitchforks ready and starting to light their torches. And a few people were like, “Well, why did you think it was going to come out this year?"

And I was like, “Because we did."

So I had to do some looking and the reason that we thought it was going to come out this year is because Jeff Teper, the Microsoft corporate vice president of server services, said last year it was going to come out this year.

Now clearly things have slipped and it’s not a big deal.

I would rather have it come out late than early and broken. But the reason we all thought that it was going to come out this year is because in 2014 Jeff Teper was talking to some people and they were asking him about whether there’s going to be a new version of SharePoint coming out in 2014.

And he said, “No. It will be next year.” 2014 plus one = 2015.

So that’s why we all thought it was going to be 2015. We heard that nine months ago and just stored it in our heads: SharePoint’s coming out next year. And now we learn it's going to be 2016.

And while we are still excited, we're also a little disappointed.

Broken Now or Perfect Later?

Bill Baer, senior project manager for SharePoint at Microsoft, told me Microsoft's goal is to deliver the most comprehensively tested version of SharePoint to date. The slight delay provided the long tail for this work. So actually that's awesome.

I don’t think there’s a person alive who hasn’t found something in SharePoint that bugged them and thought, “I can’t believe they didn’t catch this in testing.”

This is how Microsoft is fighting it.

One thing Patton's blog post did after it broke everybody’s heart with that whole "no SharePoint 2016 for you this year" thing is explain what Microsoft is working on – all the cool things it's spending time on and why it’s taking so long. There were three things, and two of them excite me a great deal.

The First

The first is improved user experience, which includes a better mobile experience and improved file storage and collaboration.

In SharePoint 2007 there was no mobile experience. The mobile experience was just a little bit better than a sharp stick right in the eye. In 2010 the mobile experience got a little bit better. In 2013 they had the hooks in there to put the different templates and stuff in there for the mobile experience. I think with 2016, they’ve got it figured it. So I’m really looking forward to the mobile experience.

The other thing that’s going to be very interesting is what they’re calling people-centric file storage and collaboration. It's going to be like the One Drive for Business. I’m looking forward to that. I’ve been doing a lot for One Drive for Business because of a session I’m doing at Ignite next week. It's cool technology and I think it’s going to go to the next level.

The Second

The next piece Patton discussed is cloud-inspired infrastructure, which I think for all of us means hybrid: hybrid cloud with global reach. I think hybrid is going to be the main thing for 2016.

I’ve been doing this hybrid thing with the One Drive for Business and all that. I welcome all this. I think making it easy for us to gradually move workloads into the cloud is the way that we’re going to get there, so I’m glad to see that. Patton also mentions “improved performance and reliability.” I kind of hope that would always be the case with every new version, but I’ll take what I can get.

The Third

The last piece he talks about is compliance and reporting. That’s the data loss prevention (DLP) stuff, more reporting in analytics and those kinds of things. That’s not so exciting to me, but I understand that it's one of the things that Office 365 customers want. So it’s good that it's going to be adding those things.

Waiting is So Hard

So, again, well, the sadness is rippling through me. I understand. I’ll let it go. I used to work at a software company. I understand how these things happen.

And a week from now at Ignite, Bill Baer himself is going to be up on the big stage telling us a whole bunch of new things about SharePoint 2016, getting us even more excited about it. So we can look forward to all that.

More SharePoint Fun

I was in London last week presenting at the SharePoint Evolution Conference. The conference itself was right across the street from Westminster Abbey, close to Parliament and Big Ben. It was a great time.

The conference party was at a place called Club de Paris in Trafalgar Square and it was just an amazing cool party — a big club with little clubs off to the side. There was a live band. There was also a deejay group that was there.

Then there were also like dancers that did silk work and it was just constant “Oh, my god, I can’t believe it.” It was good stuff. So I had a lot of fun there.

I did actually do some work there. And I had the coveted spot after the first morning session after the conference party. So the conference party started Tuesday night and ended Wednesday at 3 am.

My session started six hours later, at 9 am. I expected there was going to be nobody there except for me because it was just so early and this is the third day of the conference but the room was good and packed, a lot of people – lively people.

It might not have hurt that Rackspace, my employer, was giving away some little rubber balls with lights in them at their booth and I had some of those.

And I threatened to throw them at people if I saw them sleeping. That might have been what kept them honest but good crowd, lively discussions, lots of good questions. I had a blast.

Anyway, while I was gone, Patch Tuesday came along. The SharePoint 2013 April 2015 cumulative updates were released. Yay. And then we found out immediately they’re broken. Boo.

So just another day in SharePoint patching land. The SharePoint 2013 patches for April came out and there was rejoicing. And people started installing them. Well, people started trying to install them. And very few people were actually successful in that endeavor or at least not nearly enough.

So the April 2015 CU had one significant change: a hard requirement for Service Pack I. All of the previous cumulative updates required either the March 2013 public update or Service Pack 1. Either one would be okay. April 2015 is the first patch that required Service Pack 1.

What do you do now? Actually, the fix for it is very easy. Sort of.

And I Can't Shut Up

I skip one week and now there's even more for me to say. Lots of stuff in Podcast 245. So if you're tired of reading, watch the podcast or listen on iTunes. The time stamps will link to the location of the content.

  1. 23:40 Find out about the SharePoint Client Browser. This is a CodePlex project that lets you see some of the property things about your SharePoint farm. Bram de Jager put it out.
  2. 24:44 There's a new build of Windows 10, number 10061.
  3. 28:04 Laura Rogers and I are going to be doing an all-day session on Sunday at Ignite about OneDrive for Business

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License Title image by Perrimoon.