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Office 365 Updates, Channel, and Rings, Oh No!

While working with a customer recently it quickly became obvious that there was some confusion as to how certain Office 365 desktop clients update, namely; ProPlus, OneDrive, and Teams. The customer was working under the assumption that OneDrive and Teams clients update when ProPlus updates which is not the case. The following is a brief overview of how these updates currently update.

Microsoft Teams

Presently there are no update management capabilities available. There is nothing available at the tenant level nor with Group Policies. Also, there are no Windows scheduled tasks that launch updates for Teams as is the case with OneDrive. The Microsoft Teams client is a (PWA) Progressive Web App - a browser-based application that looks and functions like a native desktop or mobile application. Since the Teams client is a PWA it does not get updated until Teams Services get updated in the Office 365 Tenant and updates are pushed.


OneDrive updates, by default, are executed by a Windows scheduled task that is created at the time of client deployment. This scheduled task executes every 1 hour indefinitely once triggered. There are 3 update rings (yes, I said rings not channels) that are available. There is the Insiders Ring (i.e. beta tester), Production Ring, and the Enterprise Ring aka "Second Wave.”

By default, ALL OneDrive clients install using the Production Ring regardless of whether OneDrive is configured for Personal or Business use. A Production Ring release and its associated features are generally available globally.

The Enterprise Ring is available but must be configured via Group Policy. Enterprise rings are slower than Production Rings to release features. New features show up for enterprises 60 days after the Production Ring release.

Office 365 ProPlus

Finally, of course is Office 365 ProPlus. This one is such a moving target that you never know what update channels are to be used. As of September 2017, there were 3 new update channels; Monthly, Semi-Annual (Targeted), and Semi-Annual.

These Semi-Annual channels were intended to mirror the Windows 10 Serving Release Channels. They are also intended for customers whose tenants are configured for Standard Release and not necessarily First Release.

The Monthly Channel is intended for those who wish to receive the latest features immediately when they become available. Monthly Channel also allows customers to perform any necessary testing of new features prior to general deployment. And the Monthly Channel feature release should (but not necessarily) coincide with features release for Office 365 tenants configured for First Release.

As for Windows 10 Servicing Release Channels, I’m not going into detail on these for now except to list them here for general reference. I’ll have more on Windows 10 and other updates in a future post.

Windows 10 Edition 
Semi-Annual Channel
Semi-Annual Channel
Long-Term Servicing
Insider Program
Home Y N N Y
Pro Y Y N Y
Enterprise Y Y N Y
Enterprise LTSB N N Y N
Pro Education Y Y N Y
Education  Y Y N Y
Mobile  Y N N Y
Mobile Enterprise Y Y N Y


About The Author

Business Productivity Consultant

Aubrey is a managing consultant in the Business Productivity Practice of Cardinal's Charlotte office.