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Andrew J. Price | Technical Blog

Office Servers and Services MVP | Founder of UC and Cloud Day | Founder of Microsoft Cloud User Group

Its a Semi-Annual thing – Office ProPlus 2016 – New Names, New Release Schedule, New New New!!

Hello Readers

Its time to introduce the new changes to Office ProPlus Channels but before we do that lets remember the announcement Microsoft made by looking at the upcoming schedule for Office 365 ProPlus releases. It was stated by Microsoft that 12th September we would see the first version of semi-annual channel released (Targeted), this has been brought forward by a month as it was originally scheduled for October. The first actual semi-annual channel (Targeted) is scheduled for 9th January 2018.

True to their word Microsoft released the Version 1708 of Office 365 ProPlus was released to Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted/First Released for Deferred Channel) on 12th September. On January 9, 2018, Version 1708 is scheduled to be made available to Semi-Annual Channel (Deferred Channel) and will be supported in Semi-Annual Channel until March 2019. In March 2018, a new version of Office 365 ProPlus with new features will be released to Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted). That version is scheduled to be made available to Semi-Annual Channel in July 2018, and will be supported in Semi-Annual Channel until September 2019.

Make you download the latest version of the Office Deployment Tool via the link below.

Download the latest Office Deployment Tool.

Section 1. Upcoming schedule for Office 365 ProPlus releases

As Office 365 ProPlus is moving to the same release cycle as Windows 10 it is important you know when the updates to each Channel are released. Please see the table below which lists the Old/New Names of each channel and release frequency.

What you might notice is that Microsoft have made a slight adjustment to names again as Microsoft advertise that Semi-Annual Pilot and Semi-Annual Broad would be used. This has now been changed and called out in the table below under New Name

New Name Old Name Purpose Applies to Release Frequency
Insider Fast Insider Fast Frequent updates containing features in development Office 365 for home

Office 365 for business

Weekly
 

Insiders

Insider Slow (Office 365 for home)

First Release for Current Channel (Office 365 for business)

Preview of Monthly Channel update Office 365 for home

Office 365 for business

Monthly
Monthly Channel Current Channel Monthly updates with the latest features – No security patches will be released for the previous Monthly Channel release Office 365 for home

Office 365 for business

Monthly
Semi-annual Channel (Targeted)

(Was due to be called Semi-Annual Pilot)

First Release for Deferred Channel Preview of Semi-annual Channel update Office 365 for business only Twice a year, in March and September
Semi-annual Channel

(Was due to be called Semi-Annual Broad)

Deferred Channel Accumulation of features that have shipped in prior Monthly Channel updates Office 365 for business only

Twice a year, in January and July

Section 2. Specifying the new channel names

As a big advocate for ProPlus design, I am looking forward to the extended support of each channel to ensure it best fits customers needs. Lets now look at the new names and understand what they correspond to?

Channel attribute (part of Add element)

Defines which channel to use for updating Office after it is installed.

Optional. The default is Broad for Office 365 ProPlus and Monthly for Visio Pro for Office 365 and Project Online Desktop Client.

For more information about update channels, see Update channels for Office 365 ProPlus.

Channel=”Monthly”

Channel=”Broad”

Channel=”Targeted”

Channel=”Insiders”

Channel=”InsiderFast”

So what do these channels correspond to?

Channel Name Description
Broad The Broad Channel is the default for Office 365 ProPlus, this channel name replaces Deferred Channel
Monthly The Monthly Channel is an optional selection for Office 365 ProPlus, this channel name replaces Current Channel
Targeted The Targeted Channel is an optional selection for Office 365 ProPlus, this channel name replaces First Release Deferred Channel
Insiders The Insiders Channel is an optional selection for Office 365 ProPlus, this channel name replaces Insider Slow / First Release Current Channel
InsiderFast The Insider Fast Channel is an unsupported selection for Office 365 ProPlus, this channel name replaces Insider Fast Channel

Please Note:
The default is Broad for Office 365 ProPlus and Monthly for Visio Pro for Office 365 and Project Online Desktop Client.

So its time to start being my lab with these new channel names.

Regards

Andrew J. Price

 

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