Microsoft Calls Cloudified ConfigMgr 'Most Significant' Release Yet
A new version number scheme aside, the latest release of System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) marks a big milestone in bringing the PC and server management software into the SaaS era.Today's release of System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) version 1511 represents a major, cloud-enabled evolution of the software toolkit used by many enterprise IT administrators to manage their Windows PC and Server fleets. Characterizing the new release as "the most significant and important release of ConfigMgr ever," Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise, said in a Dec. 8 announcement that the 1511 branch of System Center Configuration Manager was developed for organizations that are growing ever more comfortable with cloud-delivered software services. "With this release we have completed the work of turning ConfigMgr into a cloud-connected solution—we have effectively 'SaaSified' ConfigMgr." System Center Configuration Manager 1511 features new Windows 10 management capabilities, including options that enable in-place upgrades to the new operating system from older editions. New Windows Update for Business compatibility allows administrators to fine-tune their update strategies, including the sought-after option to delay Windows 10 updates. Future versions of System Center Configuration Manager will arrive at a more rapid, yet predictable clip, said Anderson. Explaining the new numbering scheme ("1511" stands for the 11th month of 2015), he said administrators should prepare for continuous releases going forward. "We have already moved to a monthly release cadence, and we've been posting these monthly builds for our Insider or TAP [Technology Adoption Program] customers, as well as publically since June."
A year of System Center Configuration Manager releases will follow the pattern set by version 1511. "You'll see 1512, 1601, 1602, 1603, … 1612. On a regular basis we will declare one of the monthly builds as Current Branch, which will be the release to which we recommend all enterprises update," said Anderson.