Q. Is it possible to skip a CBB in production deployments?
A. Microsoft will support the two latest CBB (Current Branch for Business) releases which should release around twice a year. This means once n+2 is released the n build is no longer supported which means no more security updates or fixes except for a 60 day grace period. The CBB is declared 4 months after the CB and is the same build but has the latest cumulative update included. This means normally (not including access to builds as part of Insider programs) you would have
- 4 months of the CB (which is typically pilot phase in an organization)
- 12 months with the CBB (since release twice a year roughly and most recent 2 supported) over which time you would roll out in waves/rings to the organization
- Grace period once the n+2 releases of around 60 days
This gives around 18 months but this is a constant motion. As soon as you start the production rollout of the CBB the next CB will be releasing which you will start piloting again but these constant motions are much smaller than the massive OS upgrade projects we traditionally perform every few years.
Now if you decided to skip a CBB it is certainly possible however what this would mean is you would have a fairly narrow time window to get it deployed from pilot through to production completion to ensure it is supported and receives fixes. This equates to around 6 months as you would have the CB pilot time (4 months) and the 60 day grace period.
Therefore while possible, the guidance is definitely to not skip CBB's and everyone should be adopted or you will put a lot of pressure on your organization.