Windows as a Service Update model official Microsoft

With the Windows 10 Creators Update already live, Microsoft is currently focused on Redstone 3. Yesterday, the company rolled out Redstone 3 build 16179, with the upcoming Windows 10 feature update expected to arrive late 2017.

Now, Microsoft has announced a change to its feature updates strategy, planning to release two aligned major updates each year for Windows 10, Office 365 Pro Plus, and the System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM).

The general manager of the Windows Commercial Marketing department, Bernardo Caldas, explains the new model in a blog post.

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As Caldas, writes Microsoft will align the release cycles of Windows and Office with two major updates for Windows, Office, and SCCM per year. The Redmond giant is planning on releasing one update in March and one in September each year, starting September 2017.

Here are more details on the new model, as presented by Microsoft:

  • Windows is committing to a predictable twice-per-year feature release schedule, targeting September and March of each year, aligning with Office 365 ProPlus. The next Windows 10 feature update will be targeted for September 2017.
  • Each Windows 10 feature release will be serviced and supported for 18 months. This is consistent with our current Windows 10 approach, but adds further clarity and predictability to organizations by aligning with Office 365 ProPlus.
  • In addition, System Center Configuration Manager will support this new aligned update model for Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10, making both easier to deploy and keep up to date.

Office 365 ProPlus updates

In addition, Microsoft has announced three important changes related to the Office 365 ProPlus updates. The corporate vice president for the Office commercial marketing team, Ron Markezich, explains the changes in a blog post.

Microsoft has announced changes concerning the Office 365 system requirements, improvements to the ProPlus update model including the alignment with Windows 10, and new tools and programs.

Here is the list of changes:

  • Changes to the Office 365 system requirements
    • Office 365 ProPlus or Office perpetual in mainstream support required to connect to Office 365 services
    • Applies to Office 365 commercial services only
    • More than three years’ notice
  • Improvements to the ProPlus update model, alignment with Windows 10
    • Two updates a year
    • 18 months of support
    • System Center Configuration Manager support
  • New tools and programs to manage Office 365 ProPlus application compatibility
    • Upgrade assessment tools
    • Application compatibility testing
    • Office 365 ProPlus monitoring services
    • Reporting, tracking and resolving issues.

For more details on the Office 365 and Office 365 ProPlus changes, check Microsoft’s blog post.

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