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What’s New in Windows Autopatch: Microsoft Ignite 2023 Edition
Published Nov 15 2023 08:01 AM 12.9K Views
Microsoft

Explore simplified update management, Windows Autopatch for frontline workers (F3), and more to help you keep devices current and secure.

Windows Autopatch, the cloud-based service that automates the deployment of Windows Enterprise security and feature updates, helps you save time, reduce costs, and improve security.

We heard your feedback about how we can continue to help you further streamline the update process and we are responding. Several new and upcoming Windows Autopatch enhancements will give you more control, extend the value of your investments, and simplify update management.

  • Windows Autopatch for frontline workers
  • New, simplified update management
  • Detailed reliability reporting, including post-update reliability scoring
  • Driver and firmware granular controls
  • The ability to create Windows Autopatch groups from existing Microsoft Intune update profiles

These enhancements make Windows Autopatch more user-friendly, flexible, and powerful, helping you to optimize your update processes, and keep your devices running smoothly.

Windows Autopatch for frontline worker devices

We are excited to announce the inclusion of Windows Autopatch in the Microsoft 365 F3 subscription. This highly anticipated extension of Windows Autopatch for frontline worker devices will be generally available in late 2023.

Organizations with frontline workers covered with the Microsoft 365 F3 subscription will be able to register and manage their devices with the Windows Autopatch service. Expanding access to Windows Autopatch is part of a larger initiative to make update management simpler.

New, simplified update management

One of the most noticeable changes in Windows Autopatch is the new, forthcoming simplified update management interface. We've used your feedback to help inform adjustments that will make the update ecosystem easier to understand.

With this effort, we are unifying our update management offering for enterprise organizations. Windows Autopatch and Windows Update for Business deployment service will now be a single service for enterprise customers to update and upgrade Windows devices, Microsoft 365 Apps, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Edge.

Windows Autopatch quality update policy settings as viewed in the Microsoft Intune admin center.Windows Autopatch quality update policy settings as viewed in the Microsoft Intune admin center.

You will no longer need to wonder whether you should be using Windows Autopatch or Windows Update for Business deployment service. The truth is, they are the same thing. Windows Autopatch leverages the Windows Update for Business deployment service and client policies to configure and manage updates for enrolled devices.

Also, we're simplifying the interface to make it easier to find and use the update management features you need. Instead of having multiple tabs and menus, you'll see a single dashboard that organizes the features into four categories:

  1. Update policies: Create and assign policies to control how and when updates are installed on your devices.
  2. Update groups: Create and assign groups to organize your devices into different update rings, such as pilot, production, or test.
  3. Update status: Monitor the update status and compliance of your devices, and see which updates are available, pending, or installed.
  4. Update reports: Access various reports to analyze the update performance and reliability of your devices and troubleshoot any issues.

Our goal is to update you on the progress we are making with enterprise update management. We are simplifying Windows and application update management to make your Windows endpoint more secure without disrupting your business and lowering your expense. We invite you to read our ongoing Windows Autopatch updates in the Windows IT Pro Blog to learn more about these and other upcoming enhancements.

One thing that won't change is the functionality, it will only get richer. You'll continue to have access to all the features and capabilities of Windows Update for Business and Windows Update for Business deployment service, including API access.

Licensing requirements are also staying the same—existing customers will continue to use the same licenses for Windows Autopatch: Microsoft Intune, Entra ID Premium, and Microsoft 365 / Windows 11 Enterprise E3/E5, and now Microsoft 365 F3 too. These rights extend to Windows 365 Enterprise. Organizations with A3, A5, and Microsoft 365 Business Premium subscriptions will retain the license rights to use all Windows Update for Business deployment service capabilities. New subscribers will also have rights to use Windows Update for Business deployment service.

Reliability reporting and scores

Detailed reliability reporting is already in public preview and provides an at-a-glance score for admins with more than 100 enrolled devices. This allows them to measure update performance across their estate and drill down into individual device data. The reliability report measures:

  • Stop code errors on managed devices for each update cycle
  • Provide device-specific details on modules associated with stop codes
  • Allow update performance to be tracked over time
  • Help you troubleshoot any issues

This feature has been improved with the addition of more data and metrics to the report, including a composite-device health score. This measurement reflects the overall health and performance of your devices based on factors such as crashes, errors, slowdowns, battery life, disk space, and more.

Gain actionable insights with helpful summaries and drill deep into current data with:

  • Device update score: This score reflects how well your devices are updating, based on factors including update status, compliance, duration, and failures.
  • Device reliability score: This score reflects how reliable your devices are after each update cycle, based on the number and severity of stop code errors.
  • Device reliability trend: This graph shows how the device reliability score changes over time, and helps you find any patterns or anomalies.
  • Device reliability breakdown: This table shows the details of each stop code error such as the date, time, module, driver, and more.

Another feature that we're introducing is post-update reliability scores, a measure that will help you improve the reliability of your devices after each update cycle. The score will help you monitor and improve the update performance and reliability of your devices after each update cycle. By comparing the reliability of your devices with earlier cycles, you can now easily see how well the updates are performing on your devices or if devices are experiencing any crashes, errors, or slowdowns.

With this new reporting feature coming in 2024, you'll have more insight and feedback on the update performance and reliability of your devices, and you'll be able to identify and resolve any issues more quickly and easily. For users, this means fewer interruptions and a better experience.

Granular driver and firmware controls

We're also excited to announce the preview of a major update to driver and firmware management capability within Windows Autopatch, which will be coming in early 2024. This enhancement will give IT admins granular control of driver and firmware releases with greater flexibility and control over how drivers and firmware are updated on your devices.

  • Align driver and firmware support with Windows Autopatch groups.
  • Pause and resume driver deployments.
  • Enable bulk management of ‘other’ drivers and firmware.

This change will remove the limitation of only being able to turn on or off automatic driver updates for all devices. This greater level of control means you’ll have the ability to tailor updates to meet the unique needs of your digital estate, update only select drivers or firmware, and create and assign driver policies to control which drivers or firmware are updated.

You’ll also be able to test driver and firmware updates on a subset of devices before rolling them out to the rest. Select devices to receive the updates. Then, create and assign driver groups to organize your devices into different driver update rings such as pilot, production, or test.

With this change, you'll have more visibility and control over driver and firmware updates, and you'll be able to manage them more efficiently and effectively.

Create Windows Autopatch groups from existing Microsoft Intune update profiles

Another feature that we're enabling is the ability to create Windows Autopatch groups from existing Microsoft Intune update profiles. This feature will help you migrate and transition your devices from Intune update management to Windows Autopatch update management more smoothly and seamlessly.

Currently, Windows Autopatch requires you to create and assign new update groups to your devices, and you can't use the existing update profiles that you have created and assigned in Microsoft Intune. This means that you have to recreate and reassign the same update settings and configurations for your devices, which can be time consuming and tedious.

With this feature, you'll be able to create and assign Windows Autopatch groups from the existing Intune update profiles that you have created and assigned to your devices. You'll be able to do this from the update dashboard, and you'll have the option to create and assign Windows Autopatch groups for individual devices or groups of devices.

This way, you'll have more convenience and efficiency in the migration and transition process, and you'll be able to leverage the existing update settings and configurations that you have already created and assigned in Microsoft Intune. Save both time and effort while simplifying your work.

Conclusion

We hope these enhancements will help you keep your devices secure and up to date with less hassle and more control. Get current and stay current with automation which leads to higher security and lower cost.

If you want to learn more about Windows Autopatch, you can visit our website, read our documentation, or watch our guided demos. If you want to try Windows Autopatch for yourself, you can sign up for a free trial or contact us for a demo.

The ideas behind these announcements originated from conversations, input, and requests from you, our customers. We'd love to hear your feedback and suggestions on how we can continue to make Windows Autopatch even better for you. You can share your thoughts and ideas with us on our feedback hub or join our community forum.

Thank you for choosing Windows Autopatch and stay tuned for more updates and announcements.


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‎Nov 15 2023 01:13 PM
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