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With the change to a twice-a-year release schedule, the semi-annual feature update releases of Office 365 Pro Plus will now be supported for 18 months, instead of 12 months, starting from the initial release.A new version, with feature updates, will be released to Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) in March and September.If you are currently using Deferred Channel, and doing enterprise pilots and application validation on First Release for Deferred Channel, be sure to review the Upcoming schedule for Office 365 Pro Plus releases.Be aware that there will only be three months, instead of four months, to do enterprise pilots and application validation on the version of First Release for Deferred Channel that was released on June 13, 2017.Those feature updates are then available in Deferred Channel four months later.Starting in September 2017, Office 365 Pro Plus will get feature updates in Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) twice a year, in March and September.If you’ve just started deploying Office 365 Pro Plus, we recommend that you have less than 10% of your users on First Release for Deferred Channel to do your enterprise pilots and application validation.
For example, if Office 365 Pro Plus is currently configured to use Deferred Channel and to get updates directly from the Office Content Delivery Network (CDN), there are no changes you need to make for the January 2018 release of the first Semi-Annual Channel. If you manage the update process by downloading updated versions of Office 365 Pro Plus and then deploying those updates with your enterprise software deployment tools, such as System Center Configuration Manager, you can continue to do that just like you have been doing.
The following illustration shows the relationship between the Office 365 Pro Plus update channels and the approximate release schedule.
For more information about the Office 365 Pro Plus and Windows 10 update models, see Overview of update channels for Office 365 Pro Plus and Windows 10 servicing branches.
For example, Monthly Channel, formerly named Current Channel, is still the release that provides new features to Office 365 Pro Plus approximately every month.
The following table provides a summary of the purpose, target audience, and release frequency of each update channel.