Happy Monday! We are delighted to announce that we have released version 1710 for the Current Branch (CB) of System Center Configuration Manager that includes new features and product enhancements!
One of the key features in the 1710 release is co-management which enables a new and more practical path to transition the management of Windows 10 devices to a modern management approach. While there are a few paths to move to modern management, we heard from our customers that until now, it wasnt always easy to make the transition. Some customer scenarios require the ConfigMgr agent, and there are also Windows 7 devices that need to be managed. Customers also use deeply integrated partner or homegrown solutions for ConfigMgr, and not to mention the complexity of planning and switching from traditional to modern management with existing IT systems, organizational structures, and processes. Many organizations were looking for a more simplified and manageable way to transition from ConfigMgr and AD to a modern management approach with Intune and Azure AD. This is now possible with co-management.
You can download this infographic/slide here.
Starting with the Anniversary Update (June 2016), a Windows 10 device can be joined to on-premises Active Directory (AD) and cloud-based Azure AD at the same time. Co-management takes advantage of this improvement and enables the device to be managed by both ConfigMgr agent and Intune MDM. This allows organizations to move specific workloads of their management to the cloud making the transition in manageable chunks. For example, customers can transition device compliance check, resource access policies, or Windows 10 update management from ConfigMgr to Intune while continuing to use ConfigMgr for other workloads such as software distribution and deep device security configuration. Over time, it will be possible to transition more workloads through co-management. You can learn more from our Ignite presentation and technical documentation.
We are also excited to see the continued growth in adoption of the Current Branch of Configuration Manager by our customers. A little less than 2 years since the initial release, we now have more than 50,000 organizations managing more than 100 million devices using the Current Branch of Configuration Manager. And thanks to our active Technical Preview Branch community, the 1710 update includes feedback and usage data we have gathered from customers who have installed and road tested our monthly technical previews over the last few months. As always, 1710 has also been tested at scale by real customers, in real production environments.
Here are just few of the enhancements that are available in this update:
Microsoft 365 Adoption
- OS Deployment support for Windows 10 version 1709 You can now upgrade to the latest Windows 10 ADK version 1709 to deploy the latest Windows 10 build.
- Configure and deploy Windows Defender Application Guard policies – You can now create and deploy Windows Defender Application Guard policies to Windows 10 clients that help protect your users by opening untrusted web sites in a virtualized browser.
- Improvements to policies for Windows Defender Application Control You can now authorize software that is trusted by the Intelligent Security Graph as part of Windows Defender Application Control (previously Device Guard).
- Windows Defender Exploit Guard You can now configure Windows Defender Exploit Guard policy that provides intrusion prevention rules and policies that make vulnerabilities more difficult to exploit in Windows 10.
- Support for next generation certificates – Most client-facing site roles can now use next generation certificates (or CNG from version 3 templates).
- Co-management You can now enable co-management that helps you to streamline the journey to modern management in a controlled and iterative way. Windows 10 devices can be concurrently managed by Configuration Manager and Intune as well as joined to Active Directory (AD) and Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). This enables a practical way for you to transition the management to Intune and Azure AD over time.
- Check compliance for co-managed devices from Software Center when device compliance is managed by Intune – Users can now use Software Center to check the compliance of their co-managed Windows 10 devices when device compliance is enforced by Intune.
Configuration Manager connected with Microsoft Intune
- Device Health Attestation assessment for compliance policies for conditional access – Use Device Health Attestation status as a compliance policy rule for conditional access to company resources.
- New compliance policy actions – You can now configure actions for compliance policies. These actions include setting a grace period for devices that are noncompliant before they lose access to company resources and creating emails to be sent to users with noncompliant devices.
- App Protection settings to block printing and contact Sync – Additional settings have been added to block printing and contact sync on applications enlightened with Intune App Protection.
- Improved VPN profile experience in Configuration Manager console – VPN profile settings are now filtered according to the platform. When creating new VPN profiles, each supported platform workflow contains only the settings appropriate for the platform. Existing VPN profiles are not affected.
- Mobile device management support for ARM64 devices running Windows 10 Windows 10 MDM scenarios will be supported for ATM64 devices once these devices are available.
- Run Task Sequence step – This is a new step in the task sequence to run another task sequence, which creates a parent-child relationship between two task sequences.
- Allow up to 512×512 pixel icons for application in Software Center – You can now deploy apps with up to 512×512 pixels icon to display in Software Center.
- Software Center customization – You can now add enterprise branding elements and specify the visibility of tabs in Software Center. You can add a Software Center specific company name, set a color theme, set a company logo, and set the visibility of tabs for client devices
- Improved descriptions for pending computer restarts – The reason for a pending computer restart is posted.
- Create and run PowerShell scripts You can now create and run scripts with optional parameters, configure security scopes and monitor script results.
For more details and to view the full list of new features in this update check out our Whats new in version 1710 of System Center Configuration Manager documentation.
Note: As the update is rolled out globally in the coming weeks, it will be automatically downloaded, and you will be notified when it is ready to install from the Updates and Servicing node in your Configuration Manager console. If you cant wait to try these new features, this PowerShell script can be used to ensure that you are in the first wave of customers getting the update. By running this script, you will see the update available in your console right away.
For assistance with the upgrade process please post your questions in the Site and Client Deployment forum. To provide feedback or report any issues with the functionality included in this release, please use Connect.If theres a new feature or enhancement you want us to consider including in future updates, please use the Configuration Manager UserVoice site.
The System Center Configuration Manager team
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