Microsoft said today that it plans to give customers a glimpse of SharePoint Server 2016 at its mega-conference in Chicago in May. The news confirms what Bill Baer, senior product manager for SharePoint, told Todd Klindt, a SharePoint Consultant at Rackspace Hosting, last month.

Although Microsoft said it will demo the latest version of SharePoint at Ignite, it still hasn't revealed when the product will be ready for release.

Public Debut

According to a blog post from the SharePoint team, there will be more than 50 SharePoint related eventsand breakout sessions at Ignite. Customers can learn about SharePoint on-premises and online, the post explains, adding that "many of all these offerings will be presented for the first time at Ignite."

"If you add in SharePoint-related technologies, there will be 130+ sessions to choose from, similar to the breadth of what you would have experienced at the SharePoint Conference of the past," it continued.

Microsoft is also promising a provide deeper insight into how it intends to use SharePoint in hybrid environments, which should make it easier for enterprise clients to plan the deployment of this and possible later editions.

Although Microsoft has hinted that this might be the last hybrid version, there are signs it is reconsidering. Just consider the massive amount of chat coming out of Redmond, Wash. in recent months about the joys of hybrid computing. 

That's Not All

Office 365 also appears prominently on the Ignite program, with a number of promised Office 365 innovations.

Learning Opportunities

Julia White, Microsoft general manager for Office Product Management, noted recently that Microsoft wants to improve the user experiences across all office technologies, as well as enhance functionality and development capabilities.

There will likely be sessions devoted to Delve, the first application to use Microsoft's Office Graph machine learning engine, as well as Office 365 Video. 

Other topics on the agenda: integrating Yammer into SharePoint users’ experiences, SharePoint 2013 and Azure, customizing next generation portals, scaling enterprise search and Skype in Office.

CMSWire will be at the event to get all the announcements as they happen and keep you informed of all the developments.