Configuration Manager 1704 Technical Preview was released yesterday, some really awesome stuff in there this time for all OSD fans for sure!
If you aren’t running Technical Preview in a test environment you really should! It is a great way of getting to know the new features and a great way of providing feedback to make the features even more valuable for your organisation. Technical Preview 1703 is the current baseline you can grab it here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-system-center-configuration-manager-and-endpoint-protection-technical-preview then you can upgrade that to 1704 TP.
You can make it easy for you and use Johan Arwidmarks excellent hydration kit to get a test environment up and running. http://deploymentresearch.com/Research/Post/580/Hydration-Kit-For-Windows-Server-2016-and-ConfigMgr-Current-Technical-Preview-Branch
Now let’s look at what is new in 1704 Technical Preview.
Nested Task Sequences
This is something that many of has dreamed about for years and wished for and now it is finally here, we can call a Task Sequence from a Task Sequence. We have a new Task Sequence Step called “Run Task Sequence” which will give use great possibilities to make our Task Sequences smarter. There are some limitations in this Technical Preview release that you should be aware of so check the documentation so you now what is possible or not.
Android for Work app configuration
Android for work will be the way to manage Android devices in the future and now we got the ability to configure Android for Work apps in the same way we can do with iOS apps today. This is great news making the Android platform a real challenger for companies.
Secure Boot Inventory
We got the possibility to inventory if UEFI is enabled or not before and now we can inventory if Secure Boot is enabled or not as well. It is inventoried per default.
Reload the Boot images with the latest WinPE version
We need to update the ADK and WinPE version used twice a year as it looks now with the current release cadence of Windows 10 and supportability with Configuration Manager. We got a new way to do this which makes it much easier we can simply select to update the WinPe version when we distribute the boot images to our DP’s.
Powershell support to create advanced detection methods
A long awaited addition, we can now create advanced detection methods for applications using Powershell.
Eliminate Duplicate Records when converting BIOS-UEFI
This is an issue that has been raised and seen when convertin BIOS-UEFI we get a dupliate record as the under-laying hardware ID could change, these duplicate records are now elimated in the TP 17+04 release. We actully could use that as a hotfix to the 1702 release as well…
High DPI support in the admin console
Now that we have cool devices with high resolution this has been an issue that the SCCM Admin Console didn’t support High-DPI very well. now that is solved as well. Long awaited!!
OS version Column in the System Images node
We can now see what OS version an OS Image is based on in one of the Columns in the System Images Node, makes life a little easier.
More efficient logging in SMSTS.log
Improvements have been made to the SMSTS.log file and logging which will make it easier to read the logs. Will test that and see how much difference it makes when time allows.
Installing the 1704 TP update
Another thing to note as well is the new behavior that updates aren’t automatically downloaded any more bin the Updates and Servicing node, we need to decide which updates to download. The reason behind this is that you don’t have to download updates/hotfixes that you perhaps skip and don’t install.
For a full list of features check out the documentation here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sccm/core/get-started/capabilities-in-technical-preview-1704