Office Insider naming is 'simplified'

Microsoft is changing the names of the various Office 2016 for Windows releases (Office 365) including Insider editions.  They say it’s ‘simplified’ but we’re not so sure.

Insider Fast level becomes just ‘Insider’

Source: Microsoft

While the old Insider Slow becomes Monthly Channel (Targeted) – how that’s ‘simplified’ is anyone’s guess.

The new name does NOT make it clear that you’re getting test software that’s not fully ready for the public.  Instead Microsoft waffles on about ‘fully supported builds’ and sending yet more information back to the company.

Source: Microsoft

Regular Office 365 subscribers using Office 2016 for Windows were on the ‘Current Channel’ which is now known as ‘Monthly Channel’.  Enterprise users will get one of the ‘semi-annual’ releases as decided by their network administrators.

These names refer to feature updates.  Security and bug fixes are normally released each month.

Here’s the full list of ‘simplified’ names as supplied by Microsoft.

New Name

Old Name


Applies to

Release Frequency


Insider Fast

Frequent updates containing features in development

Office 365 for home

Office 365 for business


Monthly Channel (Targeted)

Insider Slow (Office 365 for home)

First Release for Current Channel (Office 365 for business)

Preview of Monthly Channel update

Office 365 for home

Office 365 for business


Monthly Channel

Current Channel

Monthly updates with the latest features

Office 365 for home

Office 365 for business


Semi-annual Channel (Targeted)

First Release for Deferred Channel

Preview of Semi-annual Channel update

Office 365 for business only

Twice a year, in March and September

Semi-annual Channel

Deferred Channel

Accumulation of features that have shipped in prior Monthly Channel updates

Office 365 for business only

Twice a year, in January and July

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