Technical preview for Configuration Manager

Applies to: System Center Configuration Manager (Technical Preview)

This article provides details about the monthly technical preview branch of Configuration Manager. The technical preview introduces new functionality that Microsoft is working on. It introduces new features that aren't yet included in the current branch of Configuration Manager. These features might eventually be included in an update to the current branch. Before we finalize the features, we want you to try them out and give us feedback.

Because this release is a technical preview, details and functionality are subject to change.

This information applies to all versions of the Configuration Manager technical preview branch. This article lists each new feature along with the technical preview version in which it first appears. For example, version 1806 for June (06) of 2018 (18). Separate articles dedicated to each preview version detail the individual features.

For information about what's new in the current branch of Configuration Manager, see What's new in Configuration Manager incremental versions.

Requirements and limitations

Important

The technical preview is licensed for use only in a lab environment. Microsoft may not provide support services and certain features may not be available in the preview software. Additionally, the preview software may have reduced or different security, privacy, accessibility, availability, and reliability standards relative to commercially provided software.

For most product prerequisites, use the information in the Supported configurations. The following exceptions apply to the technical preview branch:

  • Each install is active for 90 days before it becomes inactive.

  • English is the only language supported.

  • It only supports the following setup command-line parameters:

    • /silent
    • /testdbupgrade
  • The service connection point installs to online mode. It doesn't support offline mode.

  • The separate articles for each specific version of the technical preview include additional limitations or requirements, as applicable.

  • The following features aren't supported with the technical preview branch:

  • There's no support for updating to current branch from this preview branch.

    Note

    When updates are available for a preview version, you still find and install them from the Updates and Servicing node of the Configuration Manager console. For a video of the in-console upgrade process, see Installing Configuration Manager update packages on youtube.com.

  • It only supports a standalone primary site. There's no support for a central administration site, multiple primary sites, or secondary sites.

The technical preview branch of Configuration Manager supports the following products and technologies:

  • It only supports the following versions of SQL Server:

    • SQL Server 2017 (with cumulative update 2, and later) beginning in Configuration Manager version 1710
    • SQL Server 2016 (with no Service Pack, and later)
    • SQL Server 2014 (with Service Pack 1, and later)
    • SQL Server 2012 (with Service Pack 3, or later)
  • The site supports up to 10 clients, which must run one of the following versions of Windows:

    • Windows 10
    • Windows 8.1
    • Windows 7

Note

The inclusion of these products in this content doesn't imply an extension of support for a version that's beyond its support lifecycle. Configuration Manager doesn't support products that are beyond their support lifecycle. For more information, see Microsoft Lifecycle Policy.

Install and update

The Configuration Manager technical preview branch for lab use is distinct from the Configuration Manager current branch for production use.

First install a baseline version of the technical preview branch. After installing a baseline version, then use in-console updates to bring your installation up-to-date with the most recent preview version. Typically, new versions of the technical preview are available each month.

Microsoft supports each technical preview version up until three successive versions are available. For example, when version 1708 released, version 1704 was no longer in support. Versions 1705, 1706, and 1707 remained in support. When a baseline falls out of support, it's still supported for installing a new technical preview site, assuming you immediately update to a supported version. The older baseline is supported until a new baseline version is available. Update to the latest available version from the baseline, and then repeat the update process until you install the latest technical preview version.

Tip

When you install an update to the technical preview, you update your preview installation to that new technical preview version. A technical preview installation never has the option to upgrade to a current branch installation. It also never receives updates from the current branch release.

Several times throughout the year, there are technical preview branch and current branch versions with the same version number. For example, there is a technical preview version 1802 and a current branch version 1802.

Active baseline versions

Install a baseline version for up to one year after its release. When you install a new technical preview site, if more than one baseline version is currently available, use the latest baseline version.

  • Technical preview version 1806: The Configuration Manager technical preview version 1806 is available as both an in-console update and as a new baseline version. Download baseline versions from the TechNet Evaluation Center.

Providing feedback

We love to hear your feedback about the new features in the technical preview. For more information, see Product feedback.

If you have ideas about new features you would like to see, we want to know that as well. To submit new ideas and to vote on the ideas submitted by others, visit our UserVoice page.

Features in the most recent version

The following features are available with the most recent Configuration Manager technical preview version:

Technical Preview version 1809

Note

Features that were available in a previous version of the technical preview remain available in later versions. Similarly, features that are added to the Configuration Manager current branch remain available in the technical preview branch.

Features in recent supported technical previews

The following features were released with previous versions of the Configuration Manager technical preview branch that are still supported:

Feature Technical preview version Current branch version
Phased deployment of software updates Tech Preview 1808 Not added
Improvements to repair applications Tech Preview 1808 Not added
Community Hub Tech Preview 1807 Not added
Specify the drive for offline OS image servicing Tech Preview 1807 Not added
Co-managed device sync activity with Intune Tech Preview 1807 Not added
Repair applications Tech Preview 1807 Not added
Approve application requests via email Tech Preview 1807 Not added
Improvement to script output Tech Preview 1807 Not added
Improvement to third-party software updates Tech Preview 1807 Not added
Improvements to phased deployments Tech Preview 1806.2 Version 1806
Support for new Windows app package formats Tech Preview 1806.2 Version 1806
Improvement to client push security Tech Preview 1806.2 Version 1806
Management insights for proactive maintenance Tech Preview 1806.2 Version 1806
Transition mobile apps workload for co-managed devices Tech Preview 1806.2 Version 1806
Boundary group options for peer downloads Tech Preview 1806.2 Version 1806
Third-party software updates support for custom catalogs Tech Preview 1806.2 Version 1806
Improvements to cloud management features Tech Preview 1806.2 Version 1806
New software updates compliance report Tech Preview 1806.2 Version 1806
Third-party software updates Tech Preview 1806 Version 1806
Configure Windows Defender SmartScreen settings for Microsoft Edge Tech Preview 1806 Version 1806
Sync MDM policy from Microsoft Intune for a co-managed device Tech Preview 1806 Version 1806
Transition Office 365 workload to Intune using co-management Tech Preview 1806 Version 1806
Package Conversion Manager Tech Preview 1806 Version 1806
Deploy software updates without content Tech Preview 1806 Version 1806
Office Customization Tool integration with the Office 365 Installer Tech Preview 1806 Version 1806
Improvements to cloud management gateway Tech Preview 1806 Version 1806
Improvements to secure client communications Tech Preview 1806 Version 1806
Software Center infrastructure improvements Tech Preview 1806 Version 1806
Provision Windows app packages for all users on a device Tech Preview 1806 Version 1806
Improvements to the Surface dashboard Tech Preview 1806 Version 1806
Hardware inventory default unit revision Tech Preview 1806 Version 1806

Features in previous technical previews

The following features were released with previous versions of the Configuration Manager technical preview branch. These features remain available in later versions, but aren't yet available in the current branch.

Feature Technical Preview version
Support Center Tech Preview 1804
Client-based PXE responder service Tech Preview 1712
PXE network boot support for IPv6 Tech Preview 1706
Use Azure Active Directory Tech Preview 1702
Compliance assessment for Windows Update for Business updates Tech Preview 1702
OData endpoint data access Tech Preview 1612
Improvements to Asset Intelligence Tech Preview 1608
End users can install apps from the Company Portal Tech Preview 1605

See also

For more information, see the following articles:

Tip

For more information on current branch features that require consent to enable, see pre-release features.

For more information on current branch features that you must enable first, see Enable optional features from updates.