The solution Microsoft has been working on regarding the ability for IT administrators to configure accelerated quality and feature updates to Windows is now a fact. Today, this implementation using Windows Update for Business (WUfB) and Microsoft Intune is generally available.
Two new features are now available in Intune. The first has to do with configuring feature updates. This allows IT administrators to create policies that control which Windows feature updates are delivered to devices. Devices will remain on the version they have specified in their policy until IT administrators set a newer version of Windows in this section.
Some other useful settings that you can configure are to choose whether the update becomes available immediately, on a specific date, or through a staged rollout. The latter option also allows you to choose when the first and last groups will receive the update, as well as the interval of days between them.
The second option mentioned above is accelerated quality updates. But there are a few settings to watch out for. One lets you choose the minimum OS version that all devices should be on, and the other lets you decide how long a device can delay an update before needing a reboot. But be careful when using the former. It only gives users a 15-minute warning after downloading the update before forcibly installing it via reboot.
Deployment of expedited updates is done without the need to pause or edit your existing monthly servicing policies. For example, you might expedite a specific update to mitigate a security threat when your normal update process wouldn’t deploy the update for some time.
Expedite updates uses available services, like WNS and push notification channels, to deliver the message to devices that there’s an expedited update to install. This process enables devices to start the download and install of an expedited update as soon as possible, without having to wait for the device to check in for updates.
But that’s not all. You can also track delivery reports on feature updates and accelerated quality updates. You can find these in the Reports tab, then select Windows updates in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager Administration Center. They display alerts, device-level granularity information, and overall results.