Office 365 in 2016 – More Stability?

Tony’s comments in Predicting the world of Exchange in 2016 about the cadence of updates to Office 365 caught my eye, as he expresses one of my concerns with the offering:

I expect Microsoft will throttle back the number of changes introduced into Office 365 during 2016. At least, I hope that they do because it’s really hard for tenant administrators and others to cope with a cadence like the 450-odd changes Microsoft said they made during the year to August 2015. A lot of the changes are relatively minor, like tweaking a feature based on user feedback, but we know that some major new features will become mainstream during the year.

In my mind “stability” used to be about vendors decreasing the rate of errors and problems in software, thereby giving users the assurance and confidence that they could work without unnecessary interruption. Blue screens of death. Application crashes. Constant security updates. Yadda, yadda, yadda. That’s enough to drive someone crazy, and lose trust in their system. I think we see a different dynamic with Office 365 though, at the other end of the continuum: the constant addition or refinement of capabilities can make a system “unstable” in the eyes of users and administrators alike. When what you had yesterday is different today – without necessarily any great warning – it can be very unsettling and interpreted as “something broke.”

As Tony also appears to have, I have a standing brief to see how Microsoft addresses this challenge in Office 365 during 2016.

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