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Microsoft Advances SCCM Current Branch to 1610

Microsoft has released System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) Update 1610, the newest "current branch" of the client and server management system.

Update 1610 is supported by Microsoft for one year. Existing users will see it arriving in SCCM's Updates and Servicing node, when it's available in "the coming weeks," according to Microsoft's announcement on Friday. Alternatively, a PowerShell script can deliver it faster for those users.

The last current branch release for SCCM was Update 1606 in July. Microsoft updates SCCM "as a service" somewhat like Windows 10, except that it just releases current branches of SCCM a few times per year. Organizations must shift to the next current branch release of SCCM within a year's time to continue to receive patches from Microsoft.

Update 1610 has already been tested in production environments, Microsoft's announcement claimed, with "nearly 1 million devices" currently being managed with it.

This release has some dashboard-type additions. SCCM 1610 works with Windows 10 Upgrade Analytics, a capability of the Microsoft Operations Management Suite introduced in July that assesses application compatibility, drivers and computer readiness for Windows 10 migrations. It also has Office 365 Servicing Dashboard improvements for deploying Office 365 apps, along with Software Updates Compliance Dashboard improvements to show the compliance state of devices, according to Microsoft's announcement.

Other highlights, per Microsoft's announcement, include the ability to use the Microsoft Azure Cloud Management Gateway service with SCCM 1610, which "provides a simple way to manage Configuration Manager clients on the Internet," according to Microsoft's "What's new" document.

There's also support with Update 1610 for a Client Peer Cache, a new solution for deploying content to remote clients. IT pros can deploy settings to a client and have it act as a peer for delivering content to "other clients in the same boundary group."

Also added are new features for organizations that use SCCM with Intune, Microsoft's mobile management service. For instance, it's now possible to "add and deploy online-licensed paid apps in addition to the free apps in Window Store for Business."

Many more details are described in Microsoft's "What's new" document.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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