Microsoft Previews New Upgrade Readiness Reports in Microsoft Endpoint Manager
The Microsoft Endpoint Manager Admin Center portal now offers previews of reports designed to assess Windows client device feature update readiness, plus the risks associated with specific operating system upgrades, per this Wednesday announcement.
Portal users can now try a "Windows feature update device readiness report," which is used for operating system upgrade planning. There's also a "Windows feature update compatibility risks report" that outlines the risks associated with feature updates, such as app and driver compatibility.
A feature update, in Microsoft parlance, is a new Windows operating system. Feature updates now arrive once per year for Windows 10 and Windows 11 users. This new OS typically replaces an existing Windows installation via a so-called "in-place upgrade" process, although the old wipe-and-replace approach is still an option.
The new Microsoft Endpoint Manager reports, at preview, give IT pros a device readiness assessment in a graphical chart view. Device feature update readiness is aggregated at the "low," "medium" and "high" levels.
Microsoft defined "medium" device feature update readiness as meaning that "there are only minor, or non-blocking, compatibility risks associated with this device, such as applications that will be automatically removed during upgrade," according to this document.
The feature update device readiness report also indicates which devices should be replaced because they can't be successfully upgraded, per its assessment.
The other report, on feature update compatibility risks, also at preview, provides statistics on upgrading to a specific targeted Windows OS version, as selected by IT pros.
This reports looks at so-called "assets," such as the applications and drivers that may be affected by an OS upgrade. Users get an aggregated view of their devices, based on "low," "medium" and "high" risk assessments. In this report, a "medium" risk means an upgrade could get blocked, per the document.
The two new reports are at the public preview stage for "eligible Microsoft Endpoint Manager customers," Microsoft noted.
Typically, Windows 10 or Windows 11 E3/E5 or A3/A5 licensing is needed, but Microsoft oddly also requires per-user Virtual Desktop Access licensing to use these reports, per the document.
Organizations also need to have the "Windows diagnostic data processor configuration" turned on for devices. Those devices that are currently enrolled to use Microsoft's Desktop Analytics service already meet that requirement.
Desktop Analytics Ending
However, Desktop Analytics is a service that Microsoft plans to end this year. It'll stop working on Nov. 30, 2022, as Microsoft previously announced.
"If you're using Desktop Analytics today, we recommend that you start leveraging the new Windows compatibility reports in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center to assess app and driver compatibility in your organization," the announcement advised.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.