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New versions of Microsoft products always include a variety of additional tools and capabilities, but the flip side of updating software is that familiar features are retired or deprecated.
We can expect some changes with SharePoint 2016, but first some terminology: A retired feature has been discontinued and removed from the product. For example, Microsoft retired the Start menu in Windows 8 (only to bring it back in Windows 10). It's a slightly different story with deprecated features, which are capabilities that Microsoft plans to eventually phase out but has not yet removed.
When Microsoft deprecates a feature, they are essentially telling customers that the feature still exists for backward compatibility purposes, but customers should begin phasing out use of the feature. The deprecation process also implies that no further improvements will be made to the feature and that, sooner or later, it will be completely removed.
So, how does all of this apply to SharePoint 2016? As of right now, Microsoft has released only limited information about SharePoint 2016 and has not yet released a public beta. As such, we don't really know for sure which features will be retired or deprecated.
The one big exception is that Microsoft has publically stated they will be deprecating InfoPath, which is a tool for creating electronic forms.
While InfoPath is the only tool officially slated for deprecation, there have been a few hints that the Stsadm tool might also be deprecated, as Microsoft works to increasingly replace command line tools with PowerShell cmdlets. Microsoft has announced that server-side applications code support is being replaced by the new Office 365 application model. Similarly, site folders will be replaced by Office 365 groups and news feeds will be replaced by Yammer.
What should we expect for SharePoint 2016?
Office 365 Groups could spur cloud demand
Office 365 SharePoint features promote hybrid scenarios
Sharepoint 2016 Beta 2 adds security and hybrid features
Dig Deeper on Enterprise SharePoint strategy
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