Windows 10 Current Branch and Current Branch for Business now the Semi-Annual Channel [Update]

Today, Microsoft announced that the Windows 10 Creators Update is now available for all supported PCs. In doing so, it also confirmed an end of support date for the November Update (version 1511) and announced a change to the servicing branches.

The big difference is that there's a new Semi-Annual Channel that replaces Current Branch (CB) and Current Branch for Business (CBB). The rebranding and combination of the two branches coincides with the company's April announcement to align the release schedules of Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus.

The most significant impact here is for CBB customers. Normally, a Windows 10 feature update gradually rolls out to consumers (CB) over the course of a few months, and then it goes to CBB. Now, business customers will get the update sooner, and they'll be able to test it themselves, rather than having consumers test it first.

Businesses will not be forced to upgrade, however. Microsoft suggests a targeted deployment of 10% of devices, before a broader deployment later.

As was the case previously, Semi-Annual Channel updates will be supported for a period of at least 18 months from the date of their releases.

Microsoft also renamed the Long-Term Servicing Branch to the Long-Term Servicing Channel. LTSC will get updates every 2-3 years, and will be "serviced for 10 years from the date of release."

Update: This article was updated to more accurately reflect the plan for businesses to install new Windows 10 updates.

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