Office 365 ProPlus Update Channels

The new names for the Office 365 ProPlus update channels are live – with another slight change. From September 2017 these are the final names:

  • The “Current Channel” becomes the “Monthly Channel” with monthly feature updates
  • The “First Release for Deferred Channel” becomes the “Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)” with feature updates in March and September and each release supported for 18 months
  • The “Deferred Channel” becomes the “Semi-Annual Channel” with feature updates twice a year, 4 months after the Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) release in January and July, and each release supported for 14 months

There’s a useful blog post here: http://bit.ly/2qYqGD6 where you’ll also find recommended next steps and exact dates for the upcoming schedule of Office ProPlus releases.

Office 365 F1

Microsoft re-brand Office 365 K1 as Office 365 F1. Previously the “K” was for “Kiosk” – those workers who typically use a PC for less than 10% of their time. “F” is for “Firstline” where firstline workers are those who are the first in line to engage with customers in the manufacturing, retail, healthcare, government, and many other sectors. Currently the F1 plan gives access to the same services as K1.

Check out this page to see what F1 includes and for a couple of useful FAQs: http://bit.ly/2uwemPH.

Office 365 ProPlus Updates

Microsoft announce changes to the way updates in Office 365 ProPlus are managed.

Firstly, the channel names are changed: from “Current Channel” to “Monthly Channel”, “First Release for Deferred Channel” to “Semi-annual Channel (Pilot)” and “Deferred Channel” to “Semi-annual Channel (Broad)”. The names tell us of another change – that unless you’re on the Monthly Channel, updates will now be twice a year rather than three times. This aligns with Windows 10, and updates will be in March and September. And the final change is that Semi-annual channel releases will now be supported for 18 months rather than 12 months.

These updates also apply to Visio Pro for Office 365 and the Project Online desktop client and will take effect in September 2017.

The full announcement is here: http://bit.ly/2qYqGD6 where you’ll also find recommended next steps and exact dates for the upcoming schedule of Office ProPlus releases.

Changes to Office 365 E5 Components

There are some changes to Office 365 E5 components announced by Microsoft. First of all, there’s a new component – Office 365 Advanced Compliance – which is available as a standalone plan or included in Office 365 E5. This now gathers together Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery and Customer Lockbox (previously available as standalone plans) and the brand-new Office 365 Advanced Data Compliance functionality which, as Microsoft puts it: “applies machine learning to help customers find and retain important data while eliminating trivial, redundant and obsolete data that could cause risk if compromised.”

Then there’s the new Office 365 Threat Intelligence functionality, also available as a standalone plan or as a component of Office 365 E5. And what’s this? Well, there’s a dashboard to help customers understand the threat landscape for their organisation, and integration with other Office 365 security features to provide an analysis that includes the top targeted users, malware frequency, as well as security recommendations related to a particular organisation.

Find the Microsoft announcement with plenty of links to other information here: http://bit.ly/2nYhPBe.

Microsoft Bookings

Microsoft Bookings starts rolling out worldwide to customers who have Office 365 Business Premium subscriptions. There’s an app for iOS now and one for Android shortly, and customers who have Office 365 E3 or E5 subscriptions are likely to get access to Microsoft Bookings in the future. Find the Microsoft announcement here: http://bit.ly/2n40mGV.

Access included in Office 365 Business and Business Premium

Microsoft announce that Access will now be included in Office 365 Business and Business Premium plans. The product will automatically be installed for licensed users between 1 December 2017 and 30 January 2017 if you’re on the Current Channel for updates, and in June 2017 if you’re on the Deferred Channel.

Find the Microsoft announcement here: http://bit.ly/2eenhhJ.

Office 365 Update Channels

Updates for Office 365 ProPlus and Office 365 Business are made available on one of two main channels – the Current Channel and the Deferred Channel. If you want some detail on how the releases through these channels are made available and for how long they’re supported, as well as how you choose which channel to be on, then this is a useful article: http://bit.ly/1Ov0l8Q.

Windows, EMS and ECS Name Changes

It’s all change! Firstly, Microsoft announce that Windows 10 Enterprise will be renamed to Windows 10 Enterprise E3, and that Windows 10 Enterprise E5 will be introduced which includes Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection.

Then, Enterprise Mobility Suite will be renamed Enterprise Mobility + Security and, again, there will be E3 and E5 flavours of this.

There’s a good diagram here (http://bit.ly/29Cc0Er) which shows you the components of both of these editions.

And finally, the Enterprise Cloud Suite will be called Secure Productive Enterprise E3/E5 containing the relevant Office 365, EM+S and Windows 10 Enterprise plans.

Find the Microsoft announcement here: http://bit.ly/29ur3we.