Microsoft Configuration Manager Switching to Biannual Update Model
Microsoft is switching Microsoft Configuration Manager updates from its typical three times per year to a biannual release cycle, as announced on Monday.
Configuration Manager users can expect to see product update releases in the spring (March) and fall (September) under this new model. This change will take effect this year "after the release of a Configuration Manager baseline version in 2303."
Microsoft previously had a July update releases for Configuration Manager, but those releases will get subsumed this year under the new scheme, and folded into the September updates.
The rationale for Configuration Manager's biannual update scheduling switch was to better align with Windows feature updates, which now just arrive once per year in the fall. The new update plan also will have the beneficial effect of "reducing the number of deployments customers must manage annually," the announcement noted.
Microsoft also suggested that the new update cycle would help its Configuration Manager team members better address customer requests regarding "policy sync, software update troubleshooting, improved alerts, dashboarding, and more."
Microsoft will continue to issue technical preview releases for Configuration Manager. It is planning to release four technical previews per year. Two technical preview releases will appear before "each production current branch release."
Configuration Manager users get these updates via an "in-console update and servicing process," but installation by IT pros is needed. The versioning of the updates reflects the year and month of release (so "2303" is the year 2023 plus the month of March). Each update is supported for 18 months.
Microsoft considers Configuration Manager (once called "System Center Configuration Manager") to be a component that comes with Microsoft Intune product licensing, per an FAQ description.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.