The article authored by Manish Bangia provides a comprehensive guide on utilizing the latest feature in Microsoft Intune, which allows for the deployment of driver updates, including firmware updates. This feature was introduced in June 2023 and is specifically designed to give administrators more control over the updating process.

Multiple Options for Updates

When you log into the Microsoft Intune admin center and navigate to “Devices > Windows,” you will find four options for updates: “Update rings for Windows 10 and later,” “Feature updates for Windows 10 and later,” “Quality updates for Windows 10 and later,” and the recently added “Driver updates for Windows 10 and later.”

Windows Update Rings: Less Control

One might think that the existing Windows Update rings could serve the same purpose. Although they can deploy driver updates, they lack the granular control Intune offers. With Windows Update rings, you can enable driver updates, but you can’t specify which drivers get installed.

Granular Control with Intune

The Intune feature shines in its capability to specify which drivers are to be deployed. Once you create a policy for driver updates and deploy it to a few devices, the system starts gathering data on required driver and firmware updates. You can then either manually approve specific updates or let Intune auto-approve all recommended updates. This level of control is particularly beneficial for organizations to manage drivers efficiently.

Licensing Requirements

To utilize this feature, you must have a Microsoft Intune Plan 1 subscription and one of several additional licenses, such as Windows 10/11 Enterprise E3/E5, Microsoft 365 Business Premium, and others.

The Deployment Process

Manish also walks through the deployment process. After logging into the Intune admin center, you navigate to “Devices > Windows > Driver updates for Windows 10 and later” and create a new profile. You can specify approval methods—either manually approving each driver or automatically approving all recommended drivers.

Monitoring and Reporting

Once the driver updates are deployed, Intune provides reporting features to track the updates’ status. This ensures that administrators can keep an eye on how the new drivers are performing across multiple devices.

Important Considerations

The article emphasizes that while you can still use Windows Update rings for general updates, they should not replace the new Intune feature if you need more control. The article also notes that some patience might be required to see the effects of the deployed updates, as inventory collection can take 2-3 days.

Final Thoughts

The introduction of driver updates in Intune provides administrators with a tool that makes driver servicing easier and more controllable. It adds an additional layer of functionality over Windows Update rings and is a valuable feature for organizations that require precise control over their hardware updates.

By implementing these new features, organizations can better manage their devices, ensuring smoother operation and less downtime due to driver issues.