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Windows, Office and SCCM Release Schedules Now in Sync

Microsoft's announcement last week that it that it has combined the release cycles of Windows, Office 365 ProPlus and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) should be welcome news to IT managers. Even better is the fact that Microsoft has designated that those releases will come out twice per year -- in March and September.

Given Microsoft's legacy of missing deadlines by many months (and often longer for many of its major products) it's reasonable to be skeptical that Microsoft can keep to the regimen it committed to last week. But more recently, Microsoft has pretty much kept to its release plans.

It always seemed incongruous that the different products came out at different times, though with new versions coming out every three years or so, it was certainly more understandable, especially given Microsoft's organizational makeup in the past. Now that Microsoft has moved to more frequent release cycles, the company says customers have asked that the servicing models become more consistent and predictable.

As IT plans system upgrades moving forward with the knowledge that the latest versions of Windows, Office 365 ProPlus and SCCM update releases are now aligned, this should help bring better clarity and consistency to those for whom that matters. And for IT pros who are more ambivalent about the change, there's little downside.

Microsoft said it will be fielding more questions on the changes next week during a Windows as a service AMA, scheduled for May 4 at 9 a.m. PST.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 04/26/2017 at 10:04 AM


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