To start from a cautionary standpoint, what I am stating is not even a rumour, it is rather a conjecture.
Is this a possible event that might happen soon?
Hmmm, I guess that the answer should be no, we could count on at least the next version of On Prem coming within two more years.
Is there any evidence of such a possibility?
Well, actually, yes, there is some clear evidence of something strange going on with SQL Server On Premises that has lead me to this conjecture:
The main point of this link states as follows:
Updated: August 8, 2016
SQL Server Native Client (SNAC) is not supported beyond SQL Server 2012. Avoid using SNAC in new development work, and plan to modify applications that currently use it. The Microsoft ODBC Driver for SQL Server provides native connectivity from Windows to Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Azure SQL Database.
As the old saying goes:
“When you have no Plan B, you don’t have any plans at all”, the cautionary advice would be to start making plans for an exit strategy, which, among other options, should include a migration to SQL Azure among the prominent alternatives.
Kind regards, GEN