Our goal overall with the changes that we made to the Windows as a service terminology was simple:  Make it easier to understand.  As for the old “Current Branch” and “Current Branch for Business” terms, just forget them and focus on these simple ideas:

  • Windows 10 will have new features updates released to the Semi-Annual Channel twice per year, around March and September.
  • Each feature update will be serviced for 18 months from the date of release.
  • Office 365 ProPlus is doing the same thing.

If you understand those points, then you understand the terminology – the focus then should be on the process that you need to go through, the tools that are available to help, etc.  For that, start with the http://aka.ms/waas documentation, as well as the Microsoft Mechanics video on YouTube.

Shortest blog ever (and now fixed to be grammatically correct) Smile

Comments (6)
  1. Joes says:

    When will WSUS be able to serve O365 proplus updates?

  2. Cheryl Kesonbok says:

    You say “Make it easier to understand.” But this is not “easier” or clearer at all. What the heck does “Semi-Annual Channel” mean? What concept or picture does it create? What do you mean by “Channel” and what does it have to do with an operating system? A channel is something in which a liquid flows. This is nonsense. Why do you people engage in such obfuscation? What purpose does it serve except to tick off your customers? Why don’t you just give it a sequence number or a year and month designation, so it’s crystal clear what the latest version is?

    1. Joe says:

      There is a year and month code. 1703 means 2017, March. Focus on semi-annual, vs. whatever random term they use afterwards. Channel is a word used in business for many years, and not to speak of fluids flowing.

      Take a breath, read, and re-read. IT is meant to be flexible, and adaptable. Change can be frustrating, but it is what it is.

  3. Brian says:

    @Mr. Niehaus: Please correct me if the following statement is false: the phrase “Semi-Annual Channel” now has two meanings. The first meaning of “Semi-Annual Channel” is the Microsoft designation that was formerly called “Current Branch.” An example of usage of the first meaning (from this blog post): “Windows 10 will have new features updates released to the Semi-Annual Channel twice per year, around March and September.” The second meaning of “Semi-Annual Channel” is the Microsoft designation that was formerly called “Current Branch for Business.” An example of usage of the second meaning is in https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/update/waas-servicing-channels-windows-10-updates: “In the following settings CB refers to Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted), while CBB refers to Semi-Annual Channel.”

  4. Matt says:

    If Microsoft would consider supporting LTSB a little better, I think you’ll find a lot of your customers would be really happy with it. Maybe you could even consider allowing Universal Apps in it.

    It’s just that for many I.T. shops, which are understaffed, the increased maintenance and infrastructure requirements for a semi-annual scenario put us beyond our workloads.

    But LTSB would be a wonderful, low-maintenance, truly enterprise version of Windows 10…if only it had a little more of Microsoft’s blessing.

    Who wouldn’t love a trouble-free-for-10-years, stable, clean OS like LTSB? Please consider it, and thanks.

    1. jose moreira says:

      I’ve been saying this all along. Enterprises and schools don’t want all the bloatware. We don’t have the time and resources to release new feature updates twice a year. LTSB is the way to go for enterprises and schools. It’s not a matter of fighting chance, it’s just a matter of practicality and Microsoft unfortunately is not listening. The IT community in medium to large corporations DO NOT have resources to do this.

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