Microsoft’s New Autopatch Feature to Help Businesses Keep Their Systems Up-to-Date
Microsoft last week announced that it intends to make generally available a feature called Autopatch as part of Windows Enterprise E3 in July 2022.
“This service will keep Windows and Office software on enrolled endpoints up-to-date automatically, at no additional cost,” said Lior Bela, senior product marketing manager at Microsoft, in a post last week. “The second Tuesday of every month will be ‘just another Tuesday.'”
Windows Autopatch is intended to work with all supported versions of Windows 10, Windows 11, and Windows 365 for Enterprise. Windows Server OS and Windows 365 for Business, however, are not supported.
The tech giant said the feature is aimed at tackling the complexity associated with software updates in enterprise IT environments as well as closing security gaps introduced as a result of not applying patches in a timely fashion, thereby opening the door to potential new threats.
The managed service works by applying the updates across four deployment rings, starting with a small set of “test” devices in a corporate network, before moving to the “first” 1% of endpoints, then the “fast” and the “broad” rings, which contain the rest of the machines with a 9%-90% split between them.
“Updates are applied to a small initial set of devices, evaluated, and then graduated to increasingly larger sets, with an evaluation period at each progression,” Microsoft said. “The outcome is to assure that registered devices are always up to date and disruption to business operations is minimized.”
“If an issue is encountered, the Autopatch service can be paused by the customer or the service itself. When applicable, a rollback will be applied or made available,” the company pointed out.