Microsoft Aligns Windows and Office 365 Development Schedules

Posted on April 20, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Office, Office 365, Windows, Windows 10 with 15 Comments

Microsoft Aligns Windows and Office 365 Development Schedules

In a move that should please its enterprise customers, Microsoft revealed today that it will align the development schedules of its core business products, Windows and Office 365.

“We’ve also heard our customers want more predictability and simplicity from this update servicing model to help make deployments and updates of Microsoft products easier,” Microsoft General Manager Bernardo Caldas explains in a new post to the Windows for Business blog. “Based on this feedback, I am excited to share today that we are aligning the servicing models for Windows 10, Office 365 ProPlus and System Center Configuration Manager for our customers, particularly those with Secure Productive Enterprise.”

As part of this announcement, Microsoft is committing to a predictable twice-a-year feature release schedule for Windows, with releases expected in March and September. That latter date is much earlier than I had expected for the next Windows 10 version, codenamed “Redstone 3”; I was looking at November.

Each Windows 10 version will be supported for 18 months, Microsoft says.

“These changes reflect our commitment to help make it easier to deploy and service Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus,” Caldas writes. “The Windows, Office and E+MS teams will continue to seek more ways to make deployment easier, and we look forward to your continued feedback to help us with that process.”

Frankly, I think this is too aggressive: Microsoft should target one feature release of these products per year, in my opinion. That would be both predictable and less onerous from an enterprise perspective. But predictable is good, nonetheless, and this change will benefit all of us.

Now let’s see them hit these dates.


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