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Office 2016 C2R Current Branch for Business is GA and it has a New Name – Branch is now “Channel”

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Today Microsoft announced that the first Current Branch for Business release of Office 2016 is available. For those not keeping score, Office 2016 comes in two major flavours, old school MSI and new Office 365 Click to Run. The Click to Run has 4 “branches”, which let you choose how aggressive or not you are about taking updates:

  • Current Branch (CB) – the general release most non-enterprise users would be on, new features monthly
  • First Release Branch (FR, the same as the Office Insider program branch)  – early preview of the Current Branch
  • Current Branch for Business (CBB)  – the default branch for enterprise, new features every 4 months
  • First Release for Current Branch for Business (FR CCB) – early preview of the Current Branch for Business

Check out Understanding Office Click-to-Run, Branches, MSI and Skype for Business Client Versions for more detail.

Today the first Current Branch for Business is generally available, along with the release Microsoft have switched the naming convention for Office 2016 Click to run “branches” to “channels”. “Current Branch for Business” was a bit of a mouthful, So now we have:

  • Current Channel (CC) – the general release most non-enterprise users would be on, new features monthly
  • First Release for Current Channel (FR CC)  – early preview of the Current Channel
  • Deferred Channel (DC)  – the default branch for enterprise, new features every 4 months
  • First Release for Deferred Channel (FR DC) – early preview of the Deferred Channel

I think the logic is that “branches” was confusing and this should make it clearer. I guess they are thinking “channels” as in channel to market or users. Everything about the 4 release types and schedules remains the same as before.

The first Deferred Channel is hitting the CDN now and shortly on the admin portal you will have the option to select the Office version and update channel (for 2016 apps only) a user can see and download directly.

The February Deferred Channel is build 16.0.6001.1061

Version Number Reference: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt592918.aspx

Build Feature/Fix details: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/mt465751

The next First Release for Deferred Channel (FR DC) build will be available in the next few weeks. This will be a fully supported production quality build for testing, with a targeted release date as a standard build in the Deferred Channel in June 2016.

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Microsoft Collaboration specialists Modality Systems.

Tom stays up to date with industry developments and shares news and his opinions on his blog, Microsoft Teams Podcast and email list. He is a regular speaker at events around the world.

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Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 Collaboration news and opinions