What’s new in Windows Autopatch: May 2023
Published May 01 2023 10:00 AM 19.4K Views
Microsoft

Not since the introduction of Windows Autopatch have we had a blog post so full of impactful news. This is a parade of public previews for powerful new features now available in Windows Autopatch, so keep reading to get a glimpse at the latest additions to the service. The theme of this release is responding to real enterprise needs – all because we've heard from Autopatch customers and would-be customers about what they want from the service. So here they are: new capabilities, controls, and reports, all geared towards helping IT administrators improve security and productivity with less effort.

At the end of each feature description, we're including some prompts for areas where we want your insights, and which you can submit in the Autopatch community where we have created discussion topics for each feature.

Update to Windows 11 with Windows Autopatch

Windows Feature updates bring new capabilities to users and more robust performance to endpoints –but historically the process has been resource-intensive. With the capabilities now available in Windows Autopatch, admins can configure updates to specific Autopatch groups, stagger incremental rollouts with phased deployment within a ring or across rings. These deployments can also be paused and resumed by admins within the ‘Release settings' blade.

Screenshot of Update KW to Windows 11 in admin center with the Autopatch groups and Release phases in viewScreenshot of Update KW to Windows 11 in admin center with the Autopatch groups and Release phases in view

Screenshot of Update KW to Windows 11 page in admin center with Release schedule in viewScreenshot of Update KW to Windows 11 page in admin center with Release schedule in view

According to Forrester's Projected Total Economic Impact study released last month, enterprises can expect to save spend 50% to 95% less effort on feature updates. Read more about that report in last month's post.

As part of this preview, we would love to know:

Read the technical documentation about this feature here.

Divide your estate with Autopatch groups

The new and much-anticipated Autopatch groups feature allows organizations to create discrete populations of devices within their tenant and configure as many as 15 unique deployment rings, custom cadences, and content to each of up to 50 groups. Now the divisions, groups, or other structures of your enterprise can be replicated in Autopatch and the update settings[1] tailored to each unit.

Screenshot of Add Autopatch Group page in admin center with Deployment rings in viewScreenshot of Add Autopatch Group page in admin center with Deployment rings in view

Need to update Finance department devices across 10 rings on a scheduled cadence, while keeping administrative and executive devices in the default 5 rings and updated according to deadlines? Now you can configure your Autopatch with the granularity you need and then let the automation execute.

As part of this preview, we would love to know:

  • Where can the user experience of creating groups be improved?
  • Are you able to configure the right number of groups to meet your needs?
  • What do you want to do with groups next?
  • Leave your comments at the ‘Autopatch Groups' feature discussion.

Read the technical documentation about this feature here.

Policy health alerts and new notifications

They say ‘To err is human' – and sometimes those errors include accidentally changing or deleting policies or groups that are critical to the Autopatch service. With this new release, Autopatch will raise alerts and detail recommended actions when it detects missing or modified policies. This complements the ‘inactive status' feature introduced last month, and helps admins focus on items which require their attention.

Screenshot of the Tenant management tab open in admin center with the pop up of ‘Restore missing policy’ showingScreenshot of the Tenant management tab open in admin center with the pop up of ‘Restore missing policy’ showing

Out-of-band releases are often attention-getters, too, and now the ‘Release management' blade will have more information about these deployments. The schedule for OOB releases will be posted to the ‘Release schedule' tab and the included KBs are available under the ‘Release announcements' tab.

As part of this preview, we would love to know:

Read the technical documentation about this feature here.

Updated reporting

The reporting features of Windows Autopatch are now richer and more powerful. Both Windows feature updates and quality updates now have reporting blades where administrators can get summary views of their current status or drill down into current or trending views. You can now filter reports by eight distinct parameters to get granular, but interactive alerts will direct your attention where it is needed. These highlight devices with issues, provide integrated details, and offer recommended actions, along with links to relevant documentation.

As part of this preview, we would love to know:

Read the technical documentation about this feature here.

What to expect from Windows Autopatch

This public preview period will help us at Microsoft to refine these features before they are officially ‘generally available' – for most the target date is July (we will share more details closer to the launch), which is also Autopatch birthday!

We encourage readers to offer your feedback during this period and beyond – the requests and discussions with your account executives and in the Windows Autopatch community group are an important and influential aspect of our development process. We welcome your suggestions on topics about which you want to dive deeper, in a video or blog post, too.

Stay informed. For the latest updates on new releases, tools, and resources, stay tuned to this blog post and follow us @MSWindowsITPro on Twitter. For all the technical documentation related to this release, see What's new 2023 in our technical documentation.


Continue the conversation. Find best practices. Bookmark the Windows Tech Community and follow us @MSWindowsITPro on Twitter. Looking for support? Visit Windows on Microsoft Q&A.


[1] Source: Forrester Consulting Total Economic Impact™ Study Commissioned by Microsoft, New Technology: The Projected Total Economic Impact™ of Windows Autopatch Cost Savings and Business Benefits Enabled by Windows Autopatch March 2023.

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