Microsoft Now Lets Orgs Get Windows Client 'Health' Notices via E-Mail

Organizations with E3/E5-types of Microsoft 365 or Windows Enterprise subscriptions can now get notices about issues associated with Windows client updates via e-mail, Microsoft announced on Wednesday.

These e-mailed notices will inform organizations about so-called "known issues" with released Windows updates, including information about "changes in issue status," "new workarounds" and "issue resolution," the announcement explained. IT pros having an administrator role of some type can use the Microsoft 365 Admin Center portal to elect to get such notices by e-mail, as shown in this Microsoft video. It's been possible to sign up for these e-mail notices as of May 3, 2023.

IT pros already have access to known issues information regarding Windows updates through the Windows Release Health Page in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center portal. Only IT pros that have "global admin or service administrator role for their tenant" can view this information, though, as noted in this Microsoft document on Windows release health.

Microsoft also has a public venue for such information via its "Windows Release Health" site, which contains Microsoft Learn publications. However, this public resource lacks the details available via the Windows Release Health Page in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center portal, as well as in the new e-mail notices.

Here's how it was explained in Microsoft's document on Windows release health:

While the content is similar [between the Microsoft Learn info and the Microsoft 365 Admin Center portal], you may see more issues and more technical details published to Windows release health on Microsoft 365 admin center to better support the IT admin. For example, you'll find details to help you diagnose issues in your environment, steps to mitigate issues, and root cause analysis.

Organizations lacking E3/E5 types of subscriptions just have access to the Microsoft Learn Windows health info.

Many readers responding to Microsoft's Wednesday announcement complained about the requirement to have an administrator role to get the new e-mail alerts. Microsoft's setup process to get the alerts allows IT pros with administrator roles to send the Windows health notices to two e-mail addresses, but one of them can be a distribution list with multiple recipients. It's apparently possible for such a distribution list to include the e-mail addresses of users lacking administrator roles.

That approach was noted by Mabel Gomes of Microsoft's Windows release health hub team in response to a reader. Here's how Gomes phrased it:

At this moment, this feature is available for organizations or individuals who acquired one of the Windows or Microsoft 365 subscriptions noted above. You can reach out to the Global admin in your organization and check if they have access to the feature. If they do, request your email to be added to a distribution list subscribed for the alerts.

Microsoft's document on Windows release health, though, stated that such information isn't supposed to be shared publicly.

"Windows release health is provided to you as a licensed Windows customer and isn't to be shared publicly," the document stated in its FAQ section.

Microsoft's document also indicated that it is working on bringing Windows release health information to the Microsoft 365 Admin Center mobile app at some point, but the timing wasn't indicated.

The new Windows release health e-mail notices can be configured just for the Windows clients used in a particular computing environment. IT pros won't be bombarded by e-mails, as the notices will concern a single incident. They won't get e-mails repeating the matter across various Windows versions, Microsoft promised.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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