Microsoft Bolstering Windows Autopatch Management Controls

Windows Autopatch is getting some improvements this month, per a Wednesday Microsoft announcement.

Microsoft is letting organizations use their existing update rings with the Windows Autopatch service. It's letting them set service-level patch objectives based on those rings. Lastly, it's speeding up refreshes to improve Windows Autopatch reporting.

Automatically Register Update Rings
Now at preview is the ability to add an organization's existing Windows 10 and Windows 11 update rings into Windows Autopatch Management.

Adding update rings to Windows Autopatch Management will "automatically register all targeted devices into Windows Autopatch without the need to redeploy or change your existing update rings," Microsoft promised.

An "update ring" is a small group of users who are given Windows updates for testing in advance of a more general patch rollout. Windows Autopatch is a service where Microsoft typically sets up these update rings for organizations, so this feature is maybe aimed at organizations that have already set up their own update rings.

Patch Objectives Based on Rings
Microsoft is also previewing the ability for organizations to set the "service-level objective" for devices being up to date with Windows patches. A new approach will measure patch success based on an organization's defined rings.

This new approach is replacing a more static service-level objective approach where 95 percent of eligible devices were expected to be using the latest Windows quality update "21 days after release," the announcement explained.

Patch Compliance Reporting
Microsoft is speeding up the refresh cycle for Windows Autopatch reporting on patch compliance.

The old approach was to refresh every 24 hours. Microsoft's new approach will be every 30 minutes. The speedup is needed because of "the many data streams that Windows Autopatch uses" for its patch compliance reporting.

Microsoft had commercially released Windows Autopatch in 2022, which is free for E3/E5 licensees. Microsoft further explained in 2023 that Windows Autopatch and the Windows Update for Business Deployment Service (used to manage Windows deployment rings) were becoming "a single service for enterprise customers to update and upgrade Windows devices, Microsoft 365 Apps, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Edge."

About the Author

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


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