Back in June, a Microsoft blog explained Windows Windows is “transitioning and converting our current ring model, based on the frequency of builds, to a new channel model”. It also said that Microsoft Teams would move in the same direction.
How Microsoft office aka Microsoft 365 Apps Update Channels Work
Microsoft Office runs on a channel model (naming has changed a few times, now it is:
- Current Channel (Preview) – typically new features released at least a week or more before that new version is released to Current Channel
- Current Channel – new features every month, no update schedule, sometimes features made available to a subset of current channel users
- Monthly Enterprise Channel – new Office features each month, one update per month on a predictable release schedule, second Tuesday of the month
- Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel – Security updates once a month, but feature updates only twice a year, in January and July. For users who need extensive testing and or need to comply with regulatory, governmental, or other organizational requirements.
If you are an IT Pro within an organisation and want to get and test features before your users in the Current Channel (or later) get them, you can put yourself in Current Channel (Preview). Microsoft even recommends “You should deploy Current Channel (Preview) to a small, representative sample of users in your organization. This can help you identify any possible issues for your organization before those new features are released more broadly to your users that have Current Channel.”
Microsoft Teams Preview
Even though Microsoft Teams is “part of office” it was developed using a new ring based methodology and many new technologies. Putting users in the Current Channel (Preview) (or any other office channel for that matter). Has no effect on how Microsoft Teams is updated. By default, end-users are updated on a rolling basis.
Microsoft Teams has the TAP (Technology Adoption Program), but this is a private limited program for select highly engaged customers with lots of testing requirements. There is also a public developer preview, but that is not aimed at end-users. Up until now, there was no way for a typical customer to elect for some users to get features early for learning/testing/communicating about new features.
Rolling out now is a new Microsoft Teams update policy, set in the Teams Admin Center, that allows administrators to enable early access to unreleased features in Microsoft Teams for select users in their tenant.
- The global default for the Show preview feature setting is Off.
- Admins can create custom update policies to assign the policy to one or more users.
- Any users assigned to the policy with the Show preview features setting On will be able to opt into the Teams public preview by selecting their profile picture > About > Public Preview > Switch to Public preview
Public preview only covers desktop and web clients, not mobile, IP Phones, Room Systems or other clients.
This feature is still rolling out, the admin and client work to receive the updates should be done by end of December.
Microsoft will be sharing the features in Microsoft Teams Preview here https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdates/current-channel-preview
If users wish to give feedback to Microsoft, they can use Help > Give Feedback in the Teams client.
Microsoft has also set up a Microsoft Teams Public Preview space on the Tech Community. You can check it out here
Microsoft Teams Public Preview
Overview of update channels for Microsoft 365 Apps
Release notes for Microsoft 365 Apps releases
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