This article discusses the changes in the release schedule for Microsoft’s Configuration Manager product, commonly known as SCCM. Following the launch of the Configuration Manager baseline version 2303, Microsoft initiated a new release cycle, offering only two updates each year.
As Windows transitions to an annual update model, Configuration Manager will better align with this schedule by moving from three to two updates per year. Consequently, users will receive only two current branch updates each year instead of three. This change will take effect after the release of Configuration Manager version 2303.
To clarify, after the SCCM 2303 release, the next current branch release is scheduled for September 2023, which is ConfigMgr version 2309. In effect, the xx07 and xx11 updates are being combined into a single xx09 update. According to Microsoft, this consolidation will incorporate enhancements into this release. Another result of this change is a decrease in the number of deployments customers need to manage each year.
By offering two SCCM current branch updates annually, Microsoft aims to lessen ConfigMgr deployment management. SCCM administrators will have one fewer upgrade to perform. This change will allow Configuration Manager to continue delivering high-quality updates while providing a longer development cycle to address significant customer feature requests.
With the new SCCM release schedule in place and an extended development cycle, the Configuration Manager 2309 update will be better equipped to address crucial customer requests concerning policy synchronization, software update troubleshooting, improved alerts, dashboarding, and more. Hotfix Rollups, OOB hotfixes, and security updates will still be available as needed to address any critical issues.
Key Points of SCCM Release Schedule Changes
Here are some notable aspects of the SCCM release schedule changes.
Beginning in 2023, customers will receive two Configuration Manager releases, one in March (xx03) and another in September (xx09), instead of the previous release schedule of xx03, xx07, and xx11.
Baseline versions can be used to install a new Configuration Manager site and hierarchy, or to upgrade from a supported version of Configuration Manager. 2303, 2403, 2503, and subsequent releases will be baseline releases.
There will be four ConfigMgr Technical Preview (TP) releases per year. Two will be released before each production current branch release, and one of the Technical Preview releases will be a baseline release. (TP Baselines have a 180-day evaluation period).