I was fortunate enough to attend this year’s Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando as an attendee and there were some great announcements in the Configuration Manager space I wanted to touch upon. Here are just a few of the new features that were announced during the week that, we can all agree, we should be thankful for.
Windows 10 1709
While this was totally expected, the 1709 release of Windows 10 was shown in detail throughout a multitude of sessions during the week. Several cool features such as support for the Co-Management bridge for ConfigMgr and Intune as well as Windows Autopilot were shown off.
A few sessions highlighted the changes in the Windows 10 release scheduling and the nomenclature changes. The Current Branch and Current Branch for Business naming scheme has been replaced with Semi-Annual Channel and Long-Term Servicing Channel. 1709 is the first fully aligned featured release of both Windows and Office 365. This means that twice a year, those products will receive feature updates (i.e. Creators Update) and be serviced (patches) for 18 months after that release.
This also means that 1709 will only get patches through March of 2019 so Windows desktop administrators will have stay on top of deploying Windows 10 versions in quick succession compared to previous Windows upgrade timelines that were normally adhered to. For this model, it is recommended to have a targeted group of IT users, app developers and other friendly teams that can test the latest semi-annual release. Once the testing has been verified successfully, then you can deploy to the rest of the environment. The Long-Term Servicing Channel replaces the Long-Term Servicing Branch.
1E’s Windows Servicing Suite
For years, 1E has been the cornerstone of efficient IT–and at Ignite, announced a major upgrade to Windows Servicing Suite (WSS). The upgrade includes comprehensive automation for Windows servicing, the new Windows Servicing Assistant, and Application Migration Intelligence. While each of these components on their own makes WSS a powerful tool, it is the integration of Tachyon that now sets WSS apart from other solutions available.
As part of the Windows 10 migration process, Tachyon lets organizations look before they leap. Still better – it lets them make changes to those endpoints that need them, not just checking but helping to prepare the ground for migration, with unmatchable speed and efficiency.
Co-Management Bridge for Configuration Manager and Intune
Administrators will no longer have to choose which management tool they use to manage an endpoint. Configuration Manager and Intune can both be applied to endpoints and the authoritative tool will automatically be determined. The purpose of this is to gently allow movement towards modern management of endpoints in alignment with Microsoft’s vision. This bridge seems to rely on the Microsoft 365 solution which bundles rights for Windows, Office 365 and Endpoint Management + Security (this includes Intune). The support for this bridge should arrive in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update as well as Configuration Manager 1710.
It was an exciting week with all the new and upcoming features announced throughout much of the Microsoft endpoint management product stack. Fortunately, 1E already offers much of that management capability today with our products on Windows 10 as well as Windows 7 and 8. Anyone that is in need of these solutions now can get in touch today.