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2019 Microsoft Product Roadmap Summary

2019 Microsoft Product Roadmap Summary

April 4, 2019 in Centriq News, Corporate IT Training, Microsoft / by Centriq Training

2019 Microsoft Product Roadmap Summary: Upcoming Products & Dates

(Quoted content provided by Gladys Rama/Redmond Channel Partner)

Each year, Redmond Channel Partner publishes their highly-anticipated Microsoft Product Roadmap, which takes an in-depth look at what Microsoft releases and updates are on the immediate horizon. Once again, 2019 will be a busy year, with major updates to Windows 10, Dynamics 365, and System Center on tap, to name just a few. Below is a condensed summary of the Roadmap, which provides a snapshot of new and upcoming releases, version updates, and anticipated release dates.

Windows 10 ‘19H1’ and Beyond

Anticipated release: Spring and Fall of 2019

The next major version of Windows 10 (code-named 19H1 and believed to be version 1903) is expected to be released in April 2019. The desktop operating system follows a biannual (or semiannual) upgrade release cycle, with major OS “feature updates” arriving in the spring and fall. Via the Windows Insider program, preview builds of Windows 10 19H1 have been available to program participants since July 2018. In addition to minor feature additions and a few UI tweaks, two significant changes will be included in the release: Windows Sandbox and the Reserved Storage feature. Sandbox will be a part of the Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows 10, and is described by Microsoft as a “walled-off computing environment where users can run new apps in isolation, keeping the rest of their PC protected.” The Reserved Storage feature will “set aside about 7GB of a PC’s disk space for new Windows 10 updates. This reserved space will help ensure that applications are able to properly run after an OS update.”

In addition to the spring release, Microsoft is expected to release this year’s second Windows 10 feature update around October.


Windows Server ‘vNext’

Anticipated release: Spring and Fall of 2019

Currently on its third test build, Windows Server should get its next update sometime in April, which will coincide with the release of Windows 10 19H1. Another feature update will be coming in the fall.  Microsoft also provides a long-term servicing channel product option, where new upgrades arrive every two to three years. So far Microsoft has not specified any major improvement or changes, saying only that further details were expected soon.


Systems Center 2019

Released March 14th

Systems Center 2019 will incorporate “new features and enhancements including integration, support, and alignment with Windows Server 2019.” It will also include “storage optimization and improvements to RBAC [role-based access control] in VMM [Virtual Machine Manager].”

Microsoft’s Q1 release of System Center 2019 will be the first long-term serving channel release of the product. It will include “hybrid cloud” improvements and bring stronger integration between servers and Microsoft’s Azure datacenters.

A suite of eight separately-sold product “components”, Systems Center is Microsoft’s line of system management software. The products include Configuration Manager, Data Protection Manager, Operations Manager, Orchestrator, Service Manager, Service Management Automation, Virtual Machine Manager, and Service Provider Foundation. Microsoft provides major updates to Systems Center on a semiannual basis.


Dynamics 365

Anticipated release: Spring and Fall of 2019

The first of these updates are scheduled to be released on April 5 (following a Feb. 1 preview), and it will be a significant one. This general availability release of Dynamics 365 will be “the first major update where all of our customers across Dynamics 365 will be on the latest version and on a consistent update schedule”.

According to Microsoft’s release notes, the update will feature “hundreds of new capabilities”, including mixed reality and artificial intelligence enhancements across the entire suite. The update will integrate Dynamics 365 with Microsoft’s Power Platform, combining the company’s various business analytics services — like PowerApps, Power BI and Flow. This integration will let Dynamics 365 users “build higher-quality reports, apps, and workflows more easily, while still supporting more advanced enterprise and administrator requirements.”


BizTalk Server ‘vNext’

Anticipated release: Second half of 2019

Due sometime in mid-219, there aren’t many details available for features in the next generation of BizTalk Server. Some hints were provided in an August 2018 blog post that stated it “will contain all previously released feature packs, platform support for the latest versions of Windows Server, SQL Server and Visual Studio, as well as a supported upgrade path from BizTalk Server 2013 R2 and 2016.” Included in the new release will be “vNext” versions of the BizTalk Adapter Pack and Microsoft’s Host Integration Server (HIS).


Visual Studio 2019

Anticipated release: April 2019

Visual Studio 2019 is expected to be released sometime in the first half of 2019.

So far, Microsoft has released two preview versions of Visual Studio 2019, back in late 2018 and the another in January 2019. The new release is expected to include “AI-enhanced coding capabilities via the IntelliCode feature, improvements to the UI and collaboration capabilities, and enhancements to the ‘core IDE experience’.” Improvements aimed at Python, C#, and mobile .NET developers will also be included.


Azure DevOps Server 2019


Replacing Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server (TFS), Azure DevOps Server 2019 went out as a an initial release candidate back in November 2018, and again in January 2019. It is anticipated that the production-ready version of Azure DevOps Server 2019 will come out sometime in the first quarter of the year. Important features of the new release include SQL integration, support for Azure Pipelines automated development service, and a brand new UI based on Microsoft’s Fluent design philosophy.


SQL Server 2019

Anticipated release: Second half of 2019

Though a specific timeline hasn’t been identified, SQL Server 2019 likely won’t be generally available until later in 2019. Microsoft’s 2019 Ignite event is in November, and the company may be aiming to roll out the new version at the same time.

There are many improvements planned for SQL Server 2019, the largest one being SQL Server Big Data clusters. Big Data clusters have been described as “a scale-out, data virtualization platform built on top of the Kubernetes (K8s) container platform.”

Additionally, SQL Server 2019 will feature something called Accelerated Database Recovery (ADR). ADR “expedites the process of undoing and rolling back database transactions. Improvements are also coming to SQL Server’s Always On Availability Group stack and the Always Encrypted security solution, as well as overall database performance.” Microsoft is also including support for Apache Spark and the Hadoop Distributed File System, as well the ability to deploy Python- and R-based applications on clusters.


HoloLens 2

Anticipated release: First half of 2019

Four years after Microsoft first debuted HoloLens, its augmented reality headset, it appears ready to unveil version 2 sometime in the first half of 2019. Few details have emerged, but Microsoft confirmed that it is bringing back its old Kinect motion-sensing device and plans to transform it into an intelligent camera for HoloLens 2. Microsoft is also developing an improved “holographic processing unit” for HoloLens, which will leverage AI to process deep neural networks. There have also been reports suggesting that the new version of the device will run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 system-on-a-chip.