Microsoft releases Technical Preview of 1701 update for System Center Configuration Manager

Microsoft is constantly updating and improving its System Center Configuration Manager software. More than a year ago, the company released version 1511 of its System Center Configuration Manager, optimizing it for Windows 10, and transitioning to Software as a Service (SaaS) model. Since then, it has received numerous updates, which have added new features such as Cloud Management Gateway, enhancements in the Software Center, and remote control optimization, among other things. Recently, Microsoft also added support for Apple's macOS Sierra in System Center Configuration Manager.

Now, the company has released version 1701 of the Technical Preview branch of System Center Configuration Manager.

Image via: Florian Aguettaz IT Blog

As with the nomenclature of the version numbers for various other software products from Microsoft, build 1701 refers to the time of release as well - "17" corresponds to the year 2017, and "01" coincides with the first month January. The update packs a number of new features including Express files support for Windows 10 Cumulative Update, and UEFI inventory data. The full change log can be viewed below:

UEFI inventory data – Hardware inventory can now determine whether the device is UEFI-enabled.

Express files support for Windows 10 Cumulative Update – Configuration Manager can support Windows 10 Cumulative Update using Express files. This functionality is only supported in Windows 10 version 1607 with a Windows Update Agent update included with the updates released on January 10, 2017 (Patch Tuesday). For more information see https://docs.microsoft.com/sccm/core/get-started/capabilities-in-technical-preview-1612#express-installation-files-support-for-windows-10-updates.

Validate Device Health Attestation Data via Management Point – You can now configure management points to validate health attestation reporting data for cloud or on-premises health attestation service.

Updated Content Library Cleanup Tool – The command line tool (ContentLibraryCleanup.exe) used to remove content that is no longer associated with any package or application from a distribution point (orphaned content) has been updated with fixes for known issues.

Host software updates on cloud-based distribution points – Beginning with this preview version, you can use a cloud-based distribution point to host a software update package.

Support for Microsoft Azure Government cloud added to Operations Management Suite (OMS) Connector feature – You can now configure an OMS connector for the OMS workspace on Microsoft Azure Government cloud.

Additional boundary groups improvements – Clients now find software update points using Boundary Group associations.

Additionally, Microsoft has made improvements to operating system deployment based on the feedback from UserVoice. Windows 10 ADK is now tracked by build version, default boot image source path can not be configured, package ID is displayed in task sequence steps, and support for additional content has been introduced in standalone media, among other things. Update 1701 is available in the Configuration Manager console of version 1610. Microsoft has also encouraged users to contact the company in order to provide feedback or report any issues.

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