Microsoft Roadmap – What’s Coming up and What is Changing?

With our relationship with key vendors, SCC are pleased to start a series of updates that detail certain roadmaps for key strategic vendors our customers are usually reliant on to run a proportion of their IT systems.

Quick Q&A:

CEOSatya Nadella
Year EndJune
Key ProductsCloud: Azure, Office 365

Other: Windows, Office, SQL, Exchange, SharePoint, Dynamics

Turnover$85Bn (2016)
Market Cap$542Bn (Based on share price May 2017)


Product News:

Windows 10 Creators Update (Redstone 3)

Status: Released (Home Users Only); Expected: September

Whilst the Creators Update has already been released to home customers, release to Business customers has been delayed to fit into the advertised release cadence for Windows Updates. Members of the Microsoft Insider program will already have access to the latest test builds.

Geared specifically towards creative Professionals, the Creators update substantially expands Windows 10’s 3D capabilities, allowing users to create and manipulate 3D models within Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Paint.

Microsoft have also announced 2 new Surface Devices (Surface Studio and Dial) to complement the new capabilities, as well as expanded partner support for the HoloLens.

Dynamics 365 Components

Status: Anticipated; Expected: July-September

A release package of several additional feature packs for Dynamics 365. No Formal announcement has been made as to exactly what is being included, however the Dynamics 365 Roadmap makes mention of Bulk Data loading features and Cortana Integration.

Azure Stack

Status: Announced; Expected: Variable by Hardware Partner

An offering which allows organisations to host Azure-Based services directly from their own Datacentres, Azure Stack has been developed in partnership with various different hardware providers. Availability is variable depending on the Hardware partner in question, with Dell having announced their offering in May, with the intention of making it available in H2 2017.

SharePoint Server

Status: Announced; Expected release: September – November

Microsoft have slowly been releasing incremental updates to their SharePoint on a regular basis, however at their recent Virtual Summit, they announced the release of Feature Pack 2, due this autumn. The feature Pack should contain various integration features which will allow on premise SharePoint deployments to interact with the SharePoint Framework, released in February.

SQL Server 2017/ SQL Server on Linux

Status: Preview; Expected: “Mid 2017”

The major product release of the year, Microsoft are releasing another new version of their SQL Server Platform, substantially ahead of their usual release cadence. SQL 2017 brings the notable addition of SQL Server for Linux, the product of substantial development work being put into abstracting the underlying SQL processes away from their current Windows-centric state.

Exactly how this will impact the platform is unknown, but the move to support non-windows operating systems is a welcome move. Combined with enhanced Docker support, customers with diverse estates will enjoy substantially more flexibility in their solution design.

SCC will be paying close attention to any information as and when it is released, with specific reference to any changes to the licensing model. Once further information is available, a further newsbyte article detailing any changes will be released.

Licensing News:

There have been no major licensing metric changes as the majority of the server based products have all moved to the Per Core metric (minimums usually apply) which started with SQL, then BizTalk and now Windows Server and System Center.

How Can SCC Help?

Why not contact SCC to understand your current licence effectiveness with our free of charge service; Microsoft Licensing Health Check service that can look at your requirements and how the licensing investment matches this including future strategy considerations.

Our professional services and datacentre services teams can also work with you to understand how your technical requirements can be best matched to technologies such as Microsoft including implementation services.

Contact SCC today [email protected], [email protected]

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