By Aaron Czechowski as written on blogs.technet.microsoft.com
Windows 10 brings with it powerful new options for deployment and servicing. In System Center, we are committed to providing enterprise customers with best-in-class management for Windows 10 with System Center Configuration Manager, specifically by helping you successfully deploy, manage, and service Windows 10 in the way that suits you best.
As I trust you already know by now, Windows 10 comes in two basic flavors: (1) a Current Branch (also known as Windows-as-a-Service) and (2) the Long-Term Servicing Branch with a more traditional support model. The Current Branch also has the option of Current Branch for Business, which is the same build as the Current Branch, just deferred to a later date to give you time to further validate in your environment. If this is all news to you, stop reading and click here for more information and guidance. Then come on back when you are ready.
The new System Center Configuration Manager
As we announced at Microsoft Ignite with our first technical preview, we will release a new version of Configuration Manager by the end of this calendar year. This new version will bring full support for the deployment, upgrade, and management of Windows 10.
The new System Center Configuration Manager, as it will simply be called, is designed to support the much faster pace of updates for Windows 10 and Microsoft Intune. This new version will also simplify the Configuration Manager upgrade experience itself, and allow us to listen and more quickly respond to your feedback.
We have taken your feedback on making Configuration Manager easier to update, and one of the core capabilities of this upcoming release is a brand new approach for updating the features and functionality of Configuration Manager. Moving faster with System Center Configuration Manager will allow you to take advantage of the very latest feature innovations in Windows 10, as well as other operating systems such as Apple iOS and Android when using Configuration Manager integrated with Microsoft Intune for mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) capabilities.
The new System Center Configuration Manager will also be a straightforward in-place upgrade of sites and clients, similar to a service pack.
System Center Configuration Manager will support Windows 10 in any flavor: Current Branch, Current Branch for Business, and Long-Term Servicing Branch. This is because we will be able to deliver incremental updates to support the capabilities of future versions of the Windows 10 Current Branch.
The fact that we are not including a calendar year in the name is a reflection of the fact that the new System Center Configuration Manager will be updated frequently. In documentation, in product, and for evaluation and volume licensing download sites we will denote each particular version with a version number, for example “v1512”, for a version shipping in December 2015.
We plan to support each version/update for 12 months before we require that customers upgrade to the latest one to continue support. Finally we do intend to ship a version aligned with the rest of System Center and Windows Server when they ship in 2016.
Windows 10 support with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager
Back in May, the release of System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1 and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP2 delivered full compatibility with existing features for Windows 10 deployment, upgrade and management. Also note that we released Cumulative Update 1 in August to further enhance support for Windows 10. (For simplicity, I’ll just refer to these products collectively as “ConfigMgr 2012” for the rest of this post.)
The ConfigMgr 2012 Supported Configuration article on TechNet only lists support for Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB 2015. Knowing that customers are eager to deploy Windows 10 Current Branch now prior to the release of the new System Center Configuration Manager later this calendar year, we are extending ConfigMgr 2012 support for Windows 10 to also include the first two builds of the Windows 10 Current Branch. This translates to the initial build of Windows 10 released this summer, and the second build of Windows 10 expected to release this fall.
We will not extend support for further versions of Windows 10 Current Branch with ConfigMgr 2012 because we need the new System Center Configuration Manager updating model to keep pace with Windows as a Service and Microsoft Intune.
In Summary: Planning and Guidance
Windows Servicing Support
System Center Configuration Manager
By end of 2015 for initial release
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP2 CU1
AND System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1 CU1
May 2015, with cumulative updates as needed