Microsoft To End Desktop Analytics Late Next Year
Microsoft on Friday announced that it will end its Desktop Analytics solution, used to assess the compatibility of Windows endpoints, applications and drivers, on "November 30, 2022."
The capabilities of Desktop Analytics aren't going away but instead will be added to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager Admin Center portal "over the next year."
A Switch to Endpoint Analytics
Some Desktop Analytics capabilities associated with Windows 11 readiness assessments have already been moved into the Endpoint Analytics solution, which gets accessed through the Microsoft Endpoint Manager solution.
Endpoint Analytics is actually part of the Microsoft Productivity Score service, which is typically used to assess Microsoft 365 services in an organization.
To use Endpoint Analytics, organizations will need to have a license for the Microsoft Endpoint Manager product, plus E3 or E5 Windows 10 Enterprise or Education licensing.
The Windows 11 readiness capabilities moved into Endpoint Analytics are currently available for use if organizations have Microsoft Intune-managed devices or "Configuration Manager devices with tenant attach enabled," the announcement indicated.
In "the coming months," the Reports node of the Microsoft Endpoint Manager Admin Center portal will specifically show "device-level upgrade and update readiness insights" for Windows devices. Incompatibilities will get flagged in Reports, the announcement explained:
These reports will tell you if any of your Windows devices have application or driver compatibility risks or Safeguard holds that will prevent an upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 -- or a feature update from one version of Windows to another.
A Safeguard Hold happens when Microsoft sets a block for an update or an upgrade to a particular machine. It happens when Microsoft's "telemetry" data collection process detects possible problems or compatibility issues.
Reason for Ending Desktop Analytics
Microsoft indicated that it is killing off Desktop Analytics because it had a "steep learning curve" and entailed managing another workload. It's also being done to simplify the use of Configuration Manager.
To prep for the switch to Endpoint Analytics, organizations using Configuration Manager should be on a supported Windows 10 version and should "integrate your site with your Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) tenant," the announcement indicated.
Microsoft first previewed Desktop Analytics more than two years ago, when it was billed as the successor to Windows Analytics, part of the Operations Management Suite product. Windows Analytics had capabilities such as Upgrade Readiness, Update Compliance and Device Health for assessing client devices, all of which got folded into the Desktop Analytics service.
Back then, Microsoft had kept available some of the Windows 10 upgrade-readiness capabilities of Windows Analytics, which were offered at no charge.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.