What's new in version 1606 of System Center Configuration Manager

Applies to: System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)

Update 1606 for System Center Configuration Manager is available as an in-console update for previously installed sites that run version 1511 or 1602. Version 1511 is the initial baseline version you use to install new Configuration Manager sites.

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The following sections provide details about changes and new capabilities introduced in version 1606 of Configuration Manager.

Updates and servicing

Changes for the Updates and Servicing node

The following are changes to the Updates and Servicing node in the Configuration Manager console:

Note

These changes are not available until after you install version 1606.

  • Node name change:

    In the Monitoring workspace, the Site Servicing status node has been renamed to Updates and Servicing Status.

  • More installation status details:

    When you view the update installation status for a site, the console now displays separate details for the following actions:

    • Download (This applies only to the top-tier site where the service connection point site system role is installed.)
    • Replication
    • Prerequisites Check
    • Installation

    Additionally, there is now more detailed information for each step, including which log file you can view for more information.

  • New option to retry prerequisite failures:

    In both the Administration and Monitoring workspaces, the Updates and Servicing node includes a new button on the ribbon called Ignore prerequisite warnings.

    When you install updates without using the option to ignore prerequisite warnings (from within the Updates Wizard), and that update installation halts due to a warning, you can then select Ignore prerequisite warnings from the ribbon. This triggers an automatic continuation of the update installation.

  • Cleaner view of updates:

    In the Updates and Servicing node, you now see only the most recently installed update, and any new updates that are available for you to install. To view previously installed updates, click the new History button that appears in the ribbon.

  • Renamed option for pre-production:

    In the Updates and Servicing node, the Client options button is now called Promote Pre-production Client.

Pre-release features

Beginning with 1606, you must give consent to use pre-release features in System Center Configuration Manager before you can select and enable their use. For more information, see Use pre-release features from updates.

New distribution point update behavior

Update 1606 introduces changes that improve the availability of distribution points when you install future updates.

After update 1606 is installed, when you next install an update at that site that requires the automatic reinstallation of standard and pull-distribution point site system roles, all distribution points no longer go offline to update at the same time. Instead, the site server uses the site’s content distribution settings to distribute the update to a subset of distribution points at any given time. The result is that only some distribution points go offline to install the update. This allows distribution points that have not yet begun to update, or that have completed the update, to remain online and able to provide content to clients.

Accessibility

To navigate between the different nodes of a workspace, you can now enter the first letter of the name of a node. Each key press moves the cursor to the next node that begins with that letter. For users who have a screen reader, the reader reads out the name of that node. For more information about Accessibility options, see Accessibility features in System Center Configuration Manager.

Administration

The following are changes to Administration in the Configuration Manager console:

OMS Connector

You can now connect Configuration Manager as collections from System Center Configuration Manager to the Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS). This makes data such as collections from your Configuration Manager deployment visible in OMS. Find more information, see syncing data from Configuration Manager to the Microsoft Operations Management Suite here.

The OMS Connector is a pre-release feature. To enable it, see Use pre-release features from updates.

Support for cache size in Client Settings

You can now configure the size of the cache folder on client computers with Client Settings in the Configuration Manager console. Previously, you could only set the client cache size when installing or reinstalling the client software. Now you can specify the cache size as a client setting (either default or custom), and then have those settings applied with the next policy update on the client, without requiring a client reinstall. For more information, see Configure the Client Cache for Configuration Manager Clients.

On-premises mobile device management

Support for multiple device management points

On-premises mobile device management (MDM) now supports a new capability in Windows 10 Anniversary Update that automatically configures an enrolled device to have more than one device management point available for use. This capability allows the device to fall back to another device management point, when the one it normally uses is not available. This capability only works for PCs and devices with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update installed.

Application management

Manage apps from the Windows Store for Business

The Windows Store for Business is where you can find and purchase Windows apps for your organization, either individually or in volume. By connecting the store to Configuration Manager, you can synchronize the list of apps you've purchased with Configuration Manager, view these in the Configuration Manager console, and deploy them like you would any other app.

For details, see Manage apps from the Windows Store for Business with System Center Configuration Manager.

Manage iOS volume-purchased apps

The workflow for managing volume-purchased iOS apps, and deploying these with Configuration Manager, has been improved.

For details, see Manage volume-purchased iOS apps with System Center Configuration Manager.

Software Center user interface

The Software Center user interface has been streamlined for easier discovery.

  • The Installation Status and Installed Software tabs have been combined into a single Installation Status tab.
  • Updates, Operating Systems, and Applications have been separated into three separate tabs.
  • Multiple updates can now be selected for installation at once, or all updates can be installed at once by clicking Install All.

On the properties of an application or package, there is now a link that takes you to the status for that object.

Software updates

Client setting to manage the Office 365 client agent

You can now use a Configuration Manager client setting to manage the Office 365 client agent. After you set this up and deploy Office 365 updates, the Configuration Manager client agent works with the Office 365 client agent to download and install Office 365 updates from a distribution point.

For details, see Manage Office 365 ProPlus updates with Configuration Manager.

Manually switch clients to a new software update point

You can now enable an option that lets Configuration Manager clients switch to a new software update point when there are issues with the active software update point. Once enabled, the clients will look for another software update point at the next scan.

For details, see Plan for software updates in Configuration Manager.

Restart options for Windows 10 clients after software update installation

When a software update that requires a restart is deployed by using Configuration Manager and is installed on a computer, a pending restart is scheduled. A restart dialog box is also displayed. Beginning in Configuration Manager version 1606, the options Update and Restart and Update and Shutdown are available whenever there is a pending restart for a Configuration Manager software update. These are available in the Windows power options of Windows 10 computers. After using one of these options, the restart dialog box will not display after the computer restarts.

For details, see Plan for software updates in System Center Configuration Manager.

Run software updates compliance scan immediately after a client installs software updates and restarts

You can now run a compliance scan immediately after a client installs software updates and restarts. To set this up for a deployment, on the User Experience page of the Deploy Software Updates Wizard, select If any update in this deployment requires a system restart, run updates deployment evaluation cycle after restart. This enables the client to check for additional software updates that become applicable after the client restarts, and then to install them (and become compliant) during the same maintenance window. For details, see Automatically deploy software updates or Manually deploy software updates.

Operating system deployment

Improvements to the task sequence step: Install Software Updates

A new setting, Evaluate software updates from cached scan results, gives you the option to do a full scan for software updates, instead of using the cached scan results. For details, see Task sequence steps in System Center Configuration Manager.

Also, a new task sequence variable, SMSTSSoftwareUpdateScanTimeout, is available. This variable lets you control the timeout for the software updates scan during the Install Software Updates task sequence step. The default value is 30 minutes. For details, see Task sequence built-in variables in System Center Configuration Manager.

OSDPreserveDriveLetter task sequence variable has been deprecated

The OSDPreserveDriveLetter task sequence variable has been deprecated. Starting in Configuration Manager version 1606, Windows Setup determines the best drive letter to use (typically C:) during an operating system deployment, by default.

For details, see Task sequence built-in variables in System Center Configuration Manager.

Customize the RamDisk TFTP window size for PXE-enabled distribution points

You can now customize the RamDisk window size for PXE-enabled distribution points. If you have customized your network, it could cause the boot image download to fail with a time-out error, because the window size is too large. The RamDisk Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) window size customization lets you optimize TFTP traffic when you are using PXE to meet your specific network requirements.

For details, see Prepare site system roles for operating system deployments with System Center Configuration Manager.

Compliance settings

Smart Lock setting for Android devices

A new setting, Allow Smart Lock and other trust agents, has been added to the Android and Samsung KNOX Standard configuration item.

This setting lets you control the Smart Lock feature on compatible Android devices. This phone capability, sometimes known as "trust agents," lets you disable or bypass the device lock screen password if the device is in a trusted location. For example, a trusted location could be when it is connected to a specific Bluetooth device, or when it is near to an NFC tag. You can use this setting to prevent users from configuring Smart Lock.

For details, see How to create configuration items for Android and Samsung KNOX Standard devices managed without the System Center Configuration Manager client.

Device configuration and protection

Product name changes

  • Microsoft Passport for Work is now known as Windows Hello for Business.
  • Enterprise data protection is now known as Windows Information Protection.

Deployment of Windows Hello for Business (Passport for Work)

You can now deploy Windows Hello for Business policies to domain-joined Windows 10 devices managed by the Configuration Manager client.

The Configuration Manager console has been updated to reflect these changes.

iOS Activation Lock

Configuration Manager can help you manage iOS Activation Lock, a feature of the Find My iPhone app for iOS 7.1 and later devices. When Activation Lock is enabled, the user's Apple ID and password must be entered before anyone can:

  • Turn off Find My iPhone.
  • Erase the device.
  • Reactivate the device.

Configuration Manager can help you manage Activation Lock in two ways:

  • Enable Activation Lock on supervised devices.
  • Bypass Activation Lock on supervised devices.

For details, see Manage iOS Activation Lock with System Center Configuration Manager.

Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection

Endpoint Protection can help manage and monitor Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). Windows Defender ATP is a new service that will help enterprises to detect, investigate, and respond to advanced attacks on their networks. Configuration Manager policies can help you onboard and monitor managed computers running Windows 10, version 1607 (build 14328) or later.

For details, see Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection.

Device categories

You can create device categories, which can be used to place devices in device collections automatically when you are using Configuration Manager with Microsoft Intune. Users are then required to choose a device category when they enroll a device in Intune. Additionally, you can change the category of a device from the Configuration Manager console.

For details, see How to automatically categorize devices into collections with System Center Configuration Manager.

Predeclare devices with IMEI or iOS serial numbers

You can identify corporate-owned devices by importing their international station mobile equipment identity (IMEI) numbers or iOS serial numbers. You can upload a comma-separated values (.csv) file containing device IMEI numbers, or you can manually enter device information. Imported information sets the ownership of the devices that enroll as “Corporate” in lists of devices. An Intune license is still required for each user who accesses the service.

For more details, see Predeclare devices with IMEI or iOS serial numbers.

On-premises Health Attestation service communication

You can now enable Health Attestation services monitoring for Windows 10 PCs by using only on-premises infrastructure, so that computers without Internet access can report Device Health Attestation (DHA).

For details, see Health attestation for System Center Configuration Manager.

Remote Control

Allow your users the opportunity to accept or deny file transfers before transferring content from the shared clipboard in a remote control session. Users only need to grant permission once per session, and the viewer does not have the ability to give themselves permission to proceed with the file transfer. You can find this new setting in the Administration workspace. Go to Client Settings, and then in Default Settings, open the Remote Tools panel.