Six week before, Microsoft officially declared that from that time onwards its Windows 10 would be refreshed two times in a year –in the month of March and September for making its updates, launches schedules more obvious and reasonable to the enterprises.
However an unnoticed but a real fact is that almost a similar scheme was also announced by the company based in Redmond, Washington for corporate subscribers to Office.com/setup 365. The scheme signifies that the application suite called Office 365 ProPlus made available to customers at $20 per head per month Enterprise E3 and at $35 per head per month Enterprise E5 would also be upgraded twice in a year same as Windows 10.
Microsoft summarized the method which it will use for delivering and supporting ProPlus from September. In this article, we will bring some most important questions along with their answers that we had extracted from this description of Microsoft, in front of you.
- What will be the new schedules for updates of Office?
Same as Windows 10, twice in a year, say- in the month of March and September.
Since the launch of Office 2016, Microsoft has turned the updates to be launch twice in a year from the previously three times schedule.
- Why a word “feedback” has been said by the Microsoft?
It is used by the Microsoft to justify the change it had made, as it usually does. Microsoft’s marketing executive Ron Markezich posted in a blog that “the company has been asked to simplify the process of updates as well as to improve the synchronization between Windows and Office by the users.”
- Really, that’s all it took or money played a role?
Microsoft is focused on promoting its one year ago introduced subscription program “Secure Productive Enterprise,” which is a more secure, trusted and productive method that combines the best of Enterprise Mobility + Security(a combination of user management tools and devices, along with enhanced security options), Windows 10 Enterprise and Office 365. Similar to other subscriptions program, SPE is also available in two types; E3 and E5. Out of the two, E5 is more costly as it is available with additional features such as enterprise calling, security and others.
Ron Markezich, the Microsoft’s marketing executive said “the change, that SPE had bundled both Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10, will make it easy for the customers to plan and manage updates for both Windows and Office using this ‘Secure Productive Enterprise’”.
Hence, Customers suggests the Microsoft that the Windows 10 and the Office 365
ProPlus release schedules have to be synchronized for raising the sale of SPE.
- What are the other changes made in addition to the schedule change?
The change has also been made in the support duration that is Microsoft has increased it up to 50%, extending it from 12 months per update to 18 months. Hence, according to Markerich, “IT professionals can update once or twice a year now”.
- Were Windows 10 and Office 365 not on the same tempo before and also didn’t come with 12 months of support per update?
The answer of both the questions is “Yes”. Based on Office 2016, both the Windows 10 and latest version of the Office 365 ProPlus were shifting towards the launch. Microsoft’s new schedule for releasing updates thrice a year and providing support for 12 months is available for both the sources but firstly for Windows and then for ProPlus. Even the names used for release tracks were similar before, for example it was “Branch” before switching to “Channels”.
- Something more?
“Yes”, the terminology Microsoft uses before has been changed.
Microsoft’s twice-in-a-year feature updates will refer to both “Pilot” as well as “Broad” by most of the people. Both of these are named as Semi-annual Channel and describe how Microsoft proposes them to be utilized in the enterprises.
This is the 3rd set of names hung on the faster release schedule by Microsoft after its first
and original label “Current Branch” and “Current Branch for Business” that was used for
Windows 10, and was ditched for the “Channel” terminology in 2016.
- When will be the first Office 365 ProPlus update release under the new schedule?
Microsoft said that the “Pilot” channel will be transported on 12th of September this year followed by the “Broad” channel which will be transported four month from then on 9th of January 2018.
The second releases of the two; a new “Pilot” and a new “Broad” will be available for the customers on March 13, 2018 and July 10, 2018 respectively.
The above information clarifies that the “Pilot” channel will be made available each March and September and the “Broad” will be each January and July.
- Can I or my firm skip a ProPlus features update?
The answer to this question is “Yes” but with the conditions that one has to hurry up to acquire the next supported version before completely leaving the first one.
It means the companies are provided a time of just two months to migrate from one version to another additionally skipping the version in between. For example: you have only two months for migrating from “Broad 1” to “Broad 3” skipping “Broad 2” in between.
Explanation: Suppose a company wants to employ the “Broad” Channel to be release in January 2018 but to skip the one to be release in July 2018. So, here the company will be getting only the two month time between January 8, 2019 and March 12, 2019 to utilize the next ProPlus.
- What will happen to the update (due in June according to the previous schedule of the Office 365 schedule) under the new schedule?
Microsoft stated in an extended support report that, “Office is still planning to release a new delayed channel and June 13, 2017 is the date set for its first release”.
Signifying that instead of the usual four months, there are only three months available for the current Office 365 subscribers to conduct “Pilots” and validate the applications with the June’s “First Release for Deferred Channel” release before validating with the final “Deferred Channel” release that will take place in September.
Microsoft also mentioned that the last “Deferred Channel” will be supported until 10th of July, 2018.