Windows Enterprise administrators will get full control over driver and firmware updates

Microsoft unveiled a new deployment service for driver and firmware updates on Windows devices during the 2021 Ignite conference. A video presentation and Tech Community article have been published, which inform administrators and interested end users about the upcoming service changes.

The main takeaway is that administrators will get more control over driver and firmware updates.

Nir Froimovici, Microsoft Principal Program Manager Lead, begins the introduction with an overview of the current situation for administrators when it comes to deploying updates and new firmware versions.

Driver and firmware updates are released regularly, for instance to address issues or patch security flaws, and most of these drivers are released via Windows Update.

Intune and Configuration Manager administrators face different issues when it comes to driver and firmware updates. The former have access to policies that allow or deny all drivers on devices from Windows Updates, but no option to allow drivers only after administrative inspection according to Froimovici.

Configuration Manager administrators on the other hand cannot sync drivers from Windows Updates with WSUS. Microsoft notes that many administrators tend to delay driver servicing until enforced, which usually happens during operating system upgrades.

microsoft windows it admins driver firmware updates

The new commercial deployment service for drivers & firmware is “coming to Intune and Microsoft Graph in the second half of 2021” according to Microsoft. A private preview will be launched in March 2021.

Configuration Manager administrators will benefit from the introduction of the new service, without changing the way they “service Windows updates with WSUS”.

When our Private Preview launches, co-management will support configuring a cloud scan for drivers only, knowing that Windows Update will offer only those drivers you approved and at the time you scheduled them. There will be no change to any of your deployments from WSUS.

Intune administrators will get full control over new drivers and firmware once these become available, which gives them options to react to these before the new drivers or firmware are installed on user devices.

Admins can review available content and then make approval decisions on a per driver basis – no longer all and any drivers are offered by default – and choose the timing when Windows Update should start offering the driver to the devices in the policy.

Administrators may view the full Ingite 2021 session for an in-depth look at the new capabilities.

Now You: how do you handle driver and firmware updates? (via Born)

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