Windows Autopatch is now available. Organizations with E3 or E5 licenses for Microsoft 365 have a new, automatic option for patching Windows 10, Windows 11, Office and Edge.
Administrators typically patch large Windows environments with Microsoft Endpoint Manager and Windows Update for Business. The tools allow admins to deploy updates in phases, and roll back when issues arise.
Microsoft presents all patches in a monthly Patch Tuesday. Administrators browse through the list and manually decide on the updates fit for their environment. Now, there’s an alternative.
Organizations with E3 or E5 licences for Microsoft 365 have access to Windows Autopatch. General updates for Windows 10, Windows 11, Office apps and Edge are automatically deployed to devices of choice.
The network and devices must meet a number of conditions. Microsoft shared the overview on its website. Those eligible can enable Autopatch via the ‘Tenant Administration‘ section of Microsoft Endpoint Manager.
Microsoft rarely ventures into automatic patch systems for enterprises. There’s a good reason for this. Large environments consist of diverse apps and infrastructure. A patch that runs flawlessly in one environment may bring another to a standstill.
Administrators use Windows Update for Business and Microsoft Endpoint Manager to carefully review the patches applied. The tools support a phased rollout, wherein a patch is tested on a small group of systems to limit possible issues. In the worst-case scenario, rollbacks can be applied.
Autopatch doesn’t force anyone to change their workflow. The tool is optional. It runs on top of the tools mentioned above, allowing you to keep phasing updates and rolling back when required.
The concept is anything but new. Consumers and SMEs have been receiving automated updates for years. The difference is that Microsoft only recently gained faith in the compatibility of patches and large environments. According to the organization, new updates run flawlessly in 99.6 percent of all environments (see footnote).
That percentage promises to grow in the short term. With the launch of Autopatch, Microsoft gains a wealth of daily data. User info is processed to further improve compatibility. Whenever Autopatch causes a problem, the Microsoft App Assure team’s support is available free of charge.