Microsoft announced on Monday the general availability of a feature called Automatic patching that automatically keeps Windows and Office software up to date on enrolled endpoints.
The launch, a day before Microsoft is expected to release its monthly round of security patches, is available to customers with Windows Enterprise E3 and E5 licenses. However, it does not support Windows Education (A3) or Windows Front Line Worker (F3) licenses.
“Microsoft will continue to release updates on the second Tuesday of each month and now Autopatch is helping streamline update activities and create new opportunities for IT professionals,” Lior Bela said†
Autopatch continues to work apply security updates first to devices in the so-called Test Ring, which contains a minimum number of representative devices. After a validation period, the updates are pushed to the first (1% devices), fast (9%) and wide (90%) rings.
The service was first teased by the tech giant in April 2022 in an effort to apply Patch Tuesday updates in a timely manner and avoid potential attack vectors.
In addition to Windows 10 and 11 updates, Autopatch also covers Microsoft Edge and Microsoft 365 software, while allowing organizations to create test rings, check for updates, and even pause and revert changes in the event of problems.
In addition, the service includes provisions for an accelerated release cadence if a threat is considered critical (for example, a zero-day error).
Windows Autopatch aims to keep at least 95% of eligible devices on the latest Windows quality update 21 days after release. notes in its documentation.
“When performing an accelerated release, the normal goal is […] not applicable anymore. Instead, Windows Autopatch significantly speeds up the release release schedule to update the environment faster.”