SharePoint 2016 is due later this year. It includes several changes based on the available preview version. Here are some of the prominent changes: (Note: they could change by the time the final version becomes available)
1. 5,000 List View Threshold limit
Technically, SharePoint 2013 allows 30 million items per list. But, OOB, as far as end-users are concerned it enforces 5,000 item limit since querying a large number of items from SQL Server content database is a very resource intensive operation. In SharePoint 2016, end-users won’t have to worry about 5,000 view threshold limit anymore. Technically, the limit is still there but SharePoint 2016 automatically creates indexed columns to overcome the limit.
2. Upload File Size
In older versions the max possible upload file size is 2GB. In SharePoint 2016 although there’s no real limit as such but Microsoft recommends 10GB as the max. file size. Anything larger than that can potentially result in time-out.
3. Faster site collection creation
In older version it took fairly long time to create a site collection. Depending on your hardware configuration it takes 30+ seconds to create a new site collection. In SharePoint 2016 now it’s possible to create a new site collection in a second. It requires some configuration with PowerShell to make this work.
4. Improved Compliance Center
Holds and retention policies have been available in older version. In SharePoint 2016, retention policies can be applied to files stored in OneDrive for Business as well.
5. Mobile Device Support
Although SharePoint 2013 also works on mobile devices, but SharePoint 2016 has even better support. It has better responsive web design and which makes it more touch friendly and distinguishes between a small screen device, e.g. a cell phone, and a larder mobile device, e.g. a tablet.
6. Zero Downtime Patching
Admins should be pleased with this feature. SharePoint 2016 allows patching without requiring downtime. Also, the size and number of packages have been reduced which means patching should be performed much faster.
This feature allows selecting a role for SharePoint server at the time installation. Selecting a role optimizes the SharePoint for that role. SharePoint 2016 also lets us check running services and if they are compliant with the MinRole. You can read more on MinRole in my blog post:
MinRole in SharePoint 2016
8. Same Codebase
In the past Office 365 / SharePoint Online and on-premises SharePoint 2013 had separate codebase. SharePoint 2016 uses the same codebase for cloud and on-premises. It results in a more streamlined UI and development experience.
9. Hybrid Cloud Search
SharePoint 2016 search can index the content in the cloud as well which results in a more unified search experience. In order to make this work, Office 365 is necessary.