SharePoint 2016 has been released to manufacturing (RTM) – GA in early May

Today SharePoint 2016 has been released to manufacturing. Project Server 2016 which is distributed as part of SharePoint Server 2016 is also RTM now.

This is an important milestone in the delivery of this significant release, which includes new capabilities for users, IT pros and administrators, as well as the next generation of hybrid capabilities for SharePoint. This also marks the general availability of cloud hybrid search for SharePoint Server 2013 and higher customers—allowing on-premises and Office 365 content to be surfaced in one search result.

SharePoint Server 2016 will be generally available (GA) in the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) in early May.

You can download the SharePoint 2016 RTM trial from the following site:

More details can be found in the following blog posts:


Comments (13)

  1. Khaleel7585 says:

    Hi Stefan,

    Can RTM be installed on top of RC SP2016 ?
    And what would be difference between the final release that is happens to be in May and the current RTM download.


    1. Hi Khaleel,

      a new install with a db attach should work.
      There should be no difference between RTM and GA bits.


      1. ThomasBak says:

        Hi Stefan,
        The GA has now been released and we currently have the RC which we patched from Beta 2.
        Is the new install with db attach still the only way to go?
        If not, how would we go about upgrading? For Beta2 -> RC a patch was released with upgrade instructions.


  2. Ralf Heid says:

    When can the SharePoint 2016 RTM downloaded on MSDN?

    1. You can already download it from download center:

  3. Martin says:

    Hi Stefan,

    In presentations I saw new threshold for SharePoint 2016 – 1TB per Database,
    However in tehchnet article I see this new limit applies only to single-site repositories and archives and limit for collaborative Content DB is still 200GB

    Do you except this to stay on 200GB or it will be increased to 1TB for SharePoint 2016


    1. Hi Martin,
      sorry – I don’t have any information on this topic.
      If you need more info you should open an advisory case with Microsoft Support to allow us to check back with the product group directly.

  4. Hi Stefan,

    Any good article explaining the “zero downtime feature” you know of? Maybe a good one to have on this excellent blog. I’m still to find a decent explanation on it. Is it down to how the binaries are deployed? As long as we take the WFEs out of the NLB and use PowerShell/UI to stop services before installing patches on the other servers we don’t have downtime, i.e., if done properly and with care the “patch phase” doesn’t incur in downtime in 2010 and 2013 versions. What causes downtime is the “build-to-build upgrade”, specifically the database upgrade phase as you know better than me. SharePoint 2013 introduced a -UseSnapshot parameter on the Upgrade-SPContentDatabase commandlet which allows us to have the site collections online while it’s content database is upgraded (using a snapshot, i.e, a read-only mode) so we already had a “zero downtime patching” with SharePoint 2013 (as long as we used a SQL edition that supported snapshot of course). What’s new on SharePoint 2016 about this?

    Sorry for the long post but I still couldn’t fully understand this.


    1. Hi Marco,
      sorry – I don’t have material to share on this topic right now.

    2. AHaist says:

      if you take a closer look, it’s not zero downtime at all!

      We have found out, that the zero downtime is only for content databases (online upgrade) but as soon as the configuration database gets touched the farm is down. In addition, the “online upgrade” seems not to be a real online operation, as SharePoint / SQL basically create a read only copy of the database for the time it upgrades the original content. This mean, double the space on SQL will be required, content is read only during the upgrade time and the overall time for upgrading a farm will take longer as SharePoint / SQL first need to create a copy of the db before starting the upgrade. In addition, you have still to do some “WFE out of LB rotation” work to do if anything needs to be updated (psconfig), deployed (wsp) or changed in IIS.

      To sum this up, I guess the “zero downtime” term is a big marketing thing but for huge farms with lots of TB of content it will be a mess from a time perspective… 


      1. Hi Andreas,
        some of the information above is incorrect: The database is not copied – a database snapshot is created. Creating a snapshot does not duplicate the content.
        Creating a snapshot does not take more than a couple of seconds as it is just a logical thing and does not copy any data while creating the snapshot.

  5. Loren says:

    What is the story on the Office Web Apps server? Will SP2016 still use OWA2013?

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