Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions

Microsoft Teams test ring model to move to Windows / Office Channel model

Like many Microsoft products, certain Microsoft partner and customers test early Microsoft Teams client builds to give Microsoft feedback. In Microsoft, this is called Technology Adoption Program (TAP). First Microsoft internal testing is done, then it is rolled out to TAP users for feedback before going to all other users. Microsoft Teams roll out updates through a series of “rings” from Microsoft to select IT Pros to larger preview to general customers.

Some History

While many Microsoft products take the same testing approach, the exact approach and the naming convention is different from product to product (and naming has frequently changed).

Windows has the Windows Insider Program fast ring, slow ring and release preview ring.

Microsoft Edge has Canary, Dev and Beta channels.

Microsoft Office has the Office Insider Program, it used the terminology of Branches, then Channels (insider fast, deferred, first release, current). Even though Microsoft Teams is “part of office” it is developed with a different team/approach.

Microsoft Teams has the TAP program, unlike the Office and Windows programs, which anyone can elect to join, this is more of a private program. There is also a public developer preview.

One channel model to rule them all?

A recent Windows Insider blog explained Windows is “transitioning and converting our current ring model, based on the frequency of builds, to a new channel model”.

Later this month, the Windows Fast ring will become the Dev Channel, the Windows Slow ring will become the Beta Channel, and the Windows Release Preview ring will become the Release Preview Channel.

image

This somewhat aligns to Microsoft Office (Microsoft 365 Apps as it’s now called)

image

Office actually has a more extensive set of channels:

Office
Channel Current Name
Previous
name
Beta
Channel
Insider
Current
Channel (Preview)
Monthly
Channel (Targeted)
Current
Channel
Monthly
Channel
Monthly
Enterprise Channel
new
Semi-Annual
Enterprise Channel (Preview)
Semi-Annual
Channel (Targeted)
Semi-Annual
Enterprise Channel
Semi-Annual
Channel

Microsoft Teams to “soon” use similar offering names and expectations

Thanks to my colleague Marc Bertasius for spotting this, the blog says, “In addition to this change, Insiders will also find similar offering names and expectations across Windows and Office programs and In addition to this change, Insiders will also find similar offering names and expectations across Windows and Office programs and soon Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Teams”.

So, it looks like Microsoft Teams might move from “rings” to channels. “Soon” in Microsoft can mean a lot of things. Stay tuned for any updates.

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 news and opinions