Microsoft announces new Windows Autopatch alerts and functionalities for IT admins

In April 2022, Microsoft announced a new service called Windows Autopatch for enterprise customers. It is a way to automate updates while empowering IT admins to ensure that endpoints are healthy and compliant through ring-based, staggered deployments. IT admins would also have the ability to reverse updates easily if something does go wrong. Essentially, the update reins are handed to Microsoft's mechanisms with IT admins overseeing the process. The service became generally available in July 2022, and now, Microsoft has announced new guidelines for its customers.

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For starters, the Tenant Management blade is getting some enhancements in May 2023 so that it can provide more alerts on expiring licenses and access-related issues for Windows Autopatch. Microsoft has urged admins to navigate to this blade and take action immediately if they find any such alerts, or risk interruptions to the service. The Windows Autopatch section will also be marked as "inactive" if changes are required.

Additionally, Microsoft has added new functionalities to Windows Autopatch in public preview. They are as follows:

  • Windows Autopatch Groups: set up your own distinct sets of deployment rings, and deployment cadence.
  • Windows feature updates release management: leverage Windows Autopatch Groups and its deployment rings when creating new Windows feature update deployments
  • Reporting: Refresh of our existing reporting, providing insight into update compliance, deployment status and update failures.
  • Policy health and remediation: Initiate actions for the Autopatch service to restore policies and restore deployment rings.

The aforementioned capabilities can be enabled through the Autopatch Groups (preview) tab in the Intune admin center. General availability is slated for May 1, 2023.

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