Microsoft Ignite 2016: What to watch for


Microsoft's annual uber-conference is about to begin, and this year it looks like there'll be a lot to look forward to. Here are five big things to look out for at Microsoft Ignite 2016:

Windows Server 2016

In particular, the company is widely expected to drop the "Release to Manufacturing" milestone for the long-awaited Windows Server 2016, which means GA (general availability) should follow shortly thereafter. Win2016 brings improvements to significant areas of the product, introduces Windows Containers, and may become the "permanent Windows Server" the company has been hinting at. From this point on, we may only see incremental, continuous updates on a regular basis.

Azure Stack

Microsoft is also expected to give us news on Azure Stack, the "on-prem version of Azure Portal" that will help blur the lines between our on-prem and in-the-cloud services. While the company isn't expected to release a production-ready version of Azure Stack, we should learn a lot more about where that particular product is headed.


I've also heard rumblings of a rename for Microsoft OMS, as well as the potential for news in the System Center family - a product line that, to this point, has seemed to have a hazy roadmap. We may in fact see additional efforts in moving the System Center "command and control" elements into cloud-based services, supplemented by on-prem resources for things like software distribution and data collection.

SharePoint Online & Office 365

Finally, it's almost inevitable that we'll see new stuff for Microsoft's online products, especially SharePoint Online and Office 365 in general. I'm hoping the company will share not only roadmaps, but also some technical details about newly released features, so that users of those products can start taking full advantage of the bevy of new features they've put into production recently.

See the sessions!

Personally, I'm looking forward to co-speaking with Microsoft Technical Fellow Jeffrey Snover on Wednesday morning, presenting a fun (and educational) "PowerShell Unplugged" session, after which I hope you'll drop by the conference bookstore (10-10:30 a.m.) to shake hands, say hi and check out the current books on offer.

Otherwise, you'll generally find me at the Pluralsight booth, where I hope you'll come review our course library, share your IT skills challenges with me and our team and pick up some fun swag.

See you at Ignite, and stay tuned for updates on social from Pluralsight and me!



Don Jones

Don Jones' broad IT experience comes from 20 years in the business, with a strong focus on Microsoft server technologies. He's the author of more than 45 technology books, including titles on administration and software development, and writes monthly columns for the industry's leading periodicals. He's an in-demand speaker at technical conferences and symposia worldwide, and is widely recognized as one of the top trainers in the Microsoft sector.