Microsoft had first announced Windows Autopatch in April 2022, a new free service that manages all aspects of delivering quality and feature updates, drivers, firmware, and Microsoft 365 apps to enterprises for Windows 10 and Windows 11.
The Redmond giant has now released a public preview of this free service for enterprises.
Starting early July 2022, Windows Autopatch will be made generally available as a free add-on for Microsoft customers with a Windows 10/11 Enterprise E3 license or greater. It also performs patching for Microsoft 365 E3/E5 tenancies.
The Windows Autopatch service is aimed at IT administrators who want to keep Windows and Office software on enrolled endpoints up-to-date automatically, at no additional cost.
“The takeaway if you’re an IT admin? You can continue using the tools and processes you’re accustomed to for managing and deploying updates—or you can take a hands-off approach and let Windows Autopatch do it for you,” said Lior Bela, a Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft.
“Changing the way things get done, even when that change makes things easier, gives pause to most people who run large IT organizations. By joining the public preview, you’ll be able to get comfortable with Windows Autopatch and ready your organization to take advantage of the service at scale.”
Windows Autopatch applies updates to your Windows operating system and configures automatic updates for Office applications. So, what can we expect from Windows Autopatch? Let’s have a look below:
The General Availability Channel is the source for Windows updates through Windows Autopatch. Polices for quality and feature updates can be set independently to meet your needs.
Admins will be able to see what updates have been applied through the Windows Autopatch message center in Endpoint Manager and will learn about what updates to expect. The familiar cadence of monthly Windows security and quality updates, also referred to as “B” releases, will continue and out-of-band updates will be applied as needed.
Windows Autopatch uses the Monthly Enterprise Channel to balance stability and feature availability. These updates are also released on the second Tuesday of the month. Office rollouts follow a unique, fixed schedule-they do not make use of ring-based progressive deployment, and are not controlled by Autopatch.
Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Edge Updates
The Microsoft Teams client application is synchronized with changes to the Teams online service. As a result, updates to this client occur on a different cadence than general Windows or Office updates. Microsoft Edge also has its own update channel to facilitate frequent revisions to the browser. Windows Autopatch progressive deployment is not used for either Teams or Edge updates, nor do they pause or rollback actions apply to either application. However, support issues for these apps can be raised via the Windows Autopatch support request portal.
The public preview allows interested users to try out Windows Autopatch a few weeks early before its general availability in July 2022. To take advantage of the service, there are certain prerequisites. Click to see Windows Autopatch prerequisites.
How To Enroll In The Autopatch Program?
Check out the video below that details the steps that IT admins need to follow to enroll a tenant in the Windows Autopatch public preview.
Additionally, there are three additional video tutorials such as how to add devices to your test ring and how to resolve the status of “tenant not ready,” or status of “device not ready” or “device not registered” to guide you through common enrolment tasks.
To know more about Windows Autopatch, kindly go through the available documentation.