Following Brad Anderson’s keynote today at Microsoft Ignite, we’re excited to share more details on what’s coming for System Center Configuration Manager this calendar year.
Today we are making available the System Center Configuration Manager and System Center Endpoint Protection Technical Preview. In this preview, you will get an early glimpse of the functionality that we are planning to release in Q4 of this calendar year, bringing with it full support for client deployment, upgrade, and management of Windows 10.
New features in today’s Technical Preview include:
- Support for Windows 10 upgrade with OS deployment task sequence – In addition to providing support for existing wipe-and-load (refresh) scenarios, the ConfigMgr Technical Preview includes enhanced upgrade support with in-place upgrade to Windows 10.
- Support for installing Configuration Manager on Azure Virtual Machines – Similar to how you can install ConfigMgr on Hyper-V today, you can now run ConfigMgr in Azure VMs. This provides flexibility to move some or all of your datacenter server workloads to the cloud with Azure.
- Ability to manage Windows 10 mobile devices via MDM with on-premises Configuration Manager infrastructure – With this new option, you can manage Windows 10 mobile devices using ConfigMgr integrated with Microsoft Intune (hybrid) without the need to store your data in the cloud. This is especially helpful for managing devices that are unable to connect to the Internet such as Windows IoT/Embedded devices. So go ahead and try it out – you can enroll devices, set policies, and wipe/retire devices today with more functionality to be added in the future to manage all of your Windows 10 devices with MDM.
Next week, we will also be releasing service packs for Configuration Manager 2012 and 2012 R2 customers. These will deliver full compatibility with existing features for Windows 10 deployment and management as well as several other features, including:
- App-V publishing performance – Improved performance that reduces the time required for apps to display after the first logon for non-persistent VDI environments.
- Scalability improvements – Increased hierarchy scale to 600K and primary/standalone site scale to 150K.
- Content distribution improvements – Improved data transfer reliability for slow and latent networks, and also improved scale and performance for pull distribution points (DP).
- Native support for SQL Server 2014 – Added native support for SQL Server 2014 to enable site installation and recovery using SQL Server 2014.
- Hybrid features – Added a large number of hybrid features for customers using ConfigMgr integrated with Microsoft Intune (hybrid). Some of the features that you can expect to see in this release include conditional access policy, mobile application management, and support for Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP).
Finally, we also plan to deliver:
- System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (SP2, R2, and R3) support for the management of Windows 10 is coming via a compatibility pack in Q4 2015 (Note: OS and client deployment will not be supported).
- An update for the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) in Q3 2015 that will deliver support for Windows 10.
This is a really big year for Configuration Manager. We’re excited about making these releases available to you and look forward to providing you best-in-class management for Windows 10 with System Center Configuration Manager.
Make sure to also check out the Intune blog post today where the team shared their latest plans for managing Windows 10 devices.