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You do not need to be connected to the internet to install SSMS after you download the installer package.
Setup for the SQL Client Tools package has been re-engineered to be an independent, self-contained installation package.
Those channels will continue to be the way to get personalized help and support. EXE will install SSMS and other client tools as well as all the required dependencies for the tools.
Yes, the client tools package that includes SSMS will be available as a self-contained . This package can be saved locally and subsequently executed on machines not directly connected to the internet.
SQL Server Management Studio now collects feature usage telemetry.