Microsoft appears to have big plans for Windows Autopatch this year, and has started 2023 by releasing more features designed to help IT professionals get the most out of the automated patching system, starting with FastTrack support.
According to Microsoft, FastTrack is a set of resources designed to help organizations onboard Microsoft 365 services.
It is delivered remotely by specialists through documentation and one-one consultations,” Microsoft says of FastTrack, in a blog. “It provides a set of best practices and learnings gained from working with customers and from Microsoft core product teams, including the Customer Acceleration Team, a group of consulting engineers focused on helping customers adopt and scale their implementation of Microsoft services.”
With FastTrack support, the company has more capacity to help organizations in adopting Autopatch, with the Customer Acceleration Team able to go deeper into enterprise-specific issues. Learnings from those cases will be added to FastTrack resources to help improve support experiences.
Microsoft released Autopatch in July 2022 for organizations with Enterprise E3 or E5 licenses. The service is designed to help organizations automatically apply Patch Tuesday updates and save time for IT workers and security professionals.
In addition to Autopatch release information in Intune, Microsoft has released other updates to Autopatch, including the ability for enterprises to learn more about quality updates and retain control over two types of updates: expedited quality updates and updates to Microsoft 365 apps.
Admins can choose to opt out of expedited updates, which Microsoft defines as updates the Autopatch service pushes out because it determines that a threat of vulnerability makes a particular update critical to security. In those cases, updates are applied to all device deployment rings simultaneously.
However, some enterprises have use cases where expedited updates can do more harm than good, so admins now have the ability to opt out of those updates via Intune and push them out via a more standard cadence.
Admins will also be able to opt out of Microsoft 365 apps updates while still using Autopatch to automatically manage and deploy Windows updates. This feature is in private preview, but will be available by the end of the quarter.
Also generally available is the ability to ad Azure Virtual Desktop devices to Autopatch, but support for multi-session hosts, pooled non-persistent virtual machines and remote app streaming is not available.