After a client asked me when would the SharePoint Online 2016 version be available, I had to try and find out this information online and in Microsoft. This was not an easy task!
What was the conclusion?
Well . . . the business model for the SharePoint Online has changed.. this means that nowadays there will be no official launch of the 2016 Online version of the SharePoint, but there will be updates of new functionalities, corrections and security patches not linked to releases. If you are used to work with other Online offers, like CRM, it will be something similar were you will have updates available for each tenant.
The way we were used to have the evolution of the Online offer is no more, so by having new functionalities made available without being linked to a version, the only way for us to do a parallel comparison with the On Premises versions, will be on their releases. So when the On Premises RTM version of SharePoint 2016 is released the Online offer should have available the same functionalities (this can be misleading).
We also need to have into perspective that the SharePoint Online offer is nowadays very close to the Office 365 offer, this should make us think of SharePoint (Online) solutions taking into account the Office 365 also.
The change in paradigm for SharePoint in the Online context implies that we have a different approach to it, just hope that the information provided by Microsoft and the Community also helps on this change, because nowadays is a bit confusing.