Microsoft is preparing to roll out a new deployment service for both driver and firmware updates on Windows 11 that will help alleviate some of the burden for IT admins in charge of keeping whole fleets of enterprise devices up to date.
First announced back in March, the Windows Update for Business deployment service will be available in both Microsoft Endpoint Manager and Microsoft Graph as a public preview beginning in the first half of 2022.
Once available, IT admins will be able to pick the right drivers for their organization's devices by browsing the entire collection of drivers from independent hardware vendors (IHVs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) available on Windows Update according to a new report from Bleeping Computer.
By allowing IT admins to choose the drivers sent to company devices, end users won't have access to the entire Windows driver catalog which will help prevent incorrect our outdated drivers from being installed on their computers.
Improved security and functionality
Deploying driver updates regularly from Windows Update has a number of benefits including that the hardware ecosystem constantly publishes new drivers and fixes to Windows Update, the Windows Update service targets devices with the right drivers just for them and the fact security incidents are often mitigated with driver updates and require a quick servicing response according to a blog post from Microsoft published back in March.
At the same time, IT admins often find it difficult to identify the right drivers required for their devices. However, Windows Update simplifies this process by automatically evaluating the information sent by a device when it scans the service and identifying drivers on the service that are better than those that are already installed. To do this, Windows Update using a combination of factors like driver version, driver date and targeting information such as Hardware ID and Computer Hardware ID.
Microsoft has been work closely with its partners in the hardware ecosystem for some time now with the end goal of eventually bringing all driver updates to Windows Update.
The Windows Update for Business deployment service will roll out in public preview for Microsoft Graph in January 2022 and during the first half of next year for Microsoft Intune. While this new service is aimed primarily at business customers, it could end up improving the experience of updating drivers for consumers as well since even more drivers will be added to Windows Update as a result.
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After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.