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How to get new Office 365 features up to six months before



  Office 365 logo

If you are an early adopter who wants to get everything new as soon as possible, you can change your Office 365 release schedule to get "targeted version" of Office 365 apps (if you think it is a good idea.)

How Office 365 updates work

We've covered the Windows update schedule and why it seems like Windows 1

0 updates so often, but Office 365 is a bit different. It has desktop applications such as Outlook, Word and Excel, but also web versions of the classic applications and a whole host of applications that can only be used on the web such as Flow, Forms and Sway.

The web apps are updated fairly regularly with bug fixes and minor tweaks happening as soon as they are available. Important changes to the web and client apps are usually telegraphed quite far in advance, with a significant update released about every six months. However, there is a regular release every month with updates and improvements.

By default, your Office 365 subscription is the so-called "worldwide standard version". This means that you (along with most other subscribers) only get the release. Once, several "rings" of testing have gone through. These rings are:

  • Call 0: The function layer in Microsoft that made the change.
  • Call 1: The broader O365 team in Microsoft.
  • Call 2: Whole
  • Call 3: Subscribers who have asked for targeted editions.
  • Call 4: Worldwide standard edition (the ring you subscribe to is by default).

A change must be successfully tested in a ring before it can be rolled out to the next wider ring of users. Ring 4 the default global version that your subscription is enabled by default – is the last ring, and a change is only released to this ring when tested successfully during the previous four rings.

You can switch from being the world standard version (ring 4) to being on the targeted edition (ring 3), but only if you have access to the Office 365 Admin Center.

As we discussed earlier, Admin Center is available if you have a domain (such as AcmeRockets.com) and Microsoft provides email for that domain (eg Rob@AcmeRockets.com). For the personal users, the most common way to happen is if you buy a domain from a registrar / host and they offer Office 365 hosted email as part of the package. This is called a business plan and the Office 365 Admin Center lets you manage your organization's O365 users, subscriptions, licenses, and global settings.

RELATED: Where is the Office 365 Office Administrator?

Before we show you how to move to the targeted publishing plan, it is important to understand the benefits and risks. You get access to the latest updates for Microsoft Office 365 up to six months faster than the standard version users, which can be a good thing if the updates work as expected. This is the risk: Although the first three test rings should have caught significant bugs, there is no guarantee that they will have caught every bug. You work essentially as a test for Microsoft, albeit on software that has already had quite extensive testing. If you need the Office device as stable and reliable as possible, especially if you use them to meet deadlines, you should stay on the standard version.

How to switch to the targeted edition

With that in mind, here's how to switch to the targeted edition (and back to the standard version if you want).

Open the Office 365 web portal and navigate to the Admin Center.

 Admin plate on app launcher

Click Settings> Organization profile.

 Settings and organizational profile options

You are looking for the "Drop settings" option, which will tell you what "drop tracks" your turn. Click the Edit button to change this release track.

 Release Preferences Panel and Edit

If you are the only one using your Office 365 subscription (or want everyone else to use your subscription to get the targeted editions) replace the release track to "Targeted edition for everyone. " Otherwise, select "Targeted edition for selected users", which gives you the choice of which users will get the release track. Once you have selected your choice, click "Next".

 The targeted edition for all radio buttons

If you select "Targeted edition for all", read the warning message and if you want To continue, click "Next". This will update your selection.

 A warning message asking you to confirm your choice

And that's it; you're done. Click "Close" in the Printing Preferences window.

 Close button

The change takes up to 24 hours to filter through, but your client and web apps are moved to the targeted versions quite quickly. If you want to go back to the standard version, follow the instructions again but select "Standard Release" instead of "Targeted Release."


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