In an exhaustive evaluation of the new platform, Real Story Group (RSG) isolated several critical enhancements.
- State-of-the art social media integration. SharePoint 2016 will feature with an optional Pinterest connector, available for purchase from a Microsoft partner in China.
- Improved video capabilities. SharePoint 2016 will automatically convert raw videos (up to three minutes in length) into Microsoft's new Splash-based delivery format. The service employs an Azure-based transformation queue, with converted videos typically available in as soon as 24 hours. "These sorts of leading-edge multimedia capabilities make SP 2016 a total market disrupter," concludes RSG Analyst Kashyap Kompella.
- Renewed commitment to cloud. SharePoint 2016 customers can synch documents from their on-premise installations to Office 365 instances via nightly FTP jobs. "Agility is the name of the game now," notes RSG Senior Analyst Irina Guseva, "and SP 2016 really raises the bar here."
- Fancy migration utility. An automated migration script will move Office files from SP 2013 directly to SP 2016. Microsoft cleverly leaves profile information and activity stream data behind. Says RSG Principal Theresa Regli, "Redmond astutely recognizes that most of us want an entirely new social identity at work every three years."
- A new rich text editor. "This one has snazzy icons," notes SP 2016 program manager, Bitsy Optimist, "so it works just like Word." Optimist promises that editors can publish new pages in less than nine clicks.
- A new application framework. Non-developers can generate and deploy .NET objects through drag-and-drop interfaces. "Automated code generation is definitely the future -- FrontPage already proved that," notes RSG Senior Analyst Apoorv Durga. When other users modify an application through the WYSIWYG interface, the system helpfully creates a whole new instance of the application code running in parallel on production servers. Redmond is expected to roll out a new advertising campaign called "Configuration Management is for Sissies," starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.