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Microsoft Ending Windows Analytics in January

The Windows Analytics suite of Windows 10 upgrade utilities will "retire" on Jan. 31, 2020, with Desktop Analytics taking its place, Microsoft announced on Friday.

It's a rapid shift, since Desktop Analytics was just released as a preview a couple of months ago. Back then, Microsoft had referred to Desktop Analytics as "a successor to Windows Analytics." It also explained that Desktop Analytics works with System Center Configuration Manager, and is currently being groomed to work with the Microsoft Intune mobile management service.

Windows Analytics, part of the Operations Management Suite, consists of three components, namely Device Health, Update Compliance and Upgrade Readiness, which are used to assess possible Windows 10 upgrades and application compatibilities. Those capabilities are all now combined in the Desktop Analytics solution, which gets set up by global administrators from the Azure Portal.

Microsoft plans to stop making Windows Analytics available to new customers "once Desktop Analytics becomes generally available in the coming weeks." No exact general availability date was described.

While the Windows Analytics suite essentially will end in January, there's an exception for its Update Compliance component.

"If you are using 'Update Compliance' in the Azure portal today you can continue to do so now and beyond January 2020," Microsoft's announcement explained, without elaboration.

Both the Update Compliance and Upgrade Readiness components in the Windows Analytics suite had been offered to organizations at no extra cost, as described in this table.

To use Desktop Analytics, though, organizations will need to have System Center Configuration Manager version 1902 or later installed. Additionally, E3 or E5 (or equivalent) licensing is required. Desktop Analytics is capable of working with upgrades to Windows 10 version 1709 or later versions.

Microsoft has provided an "onboarding process" for organizations using Windows Analytics to move their data over to Desktop Analytics, if they have the requisite licensing and meet the requirements. It's done by setting "an existing Windows Analytics workspace as Desktop Analytics workspace during Initial onboarding," according to this Microsoft document.

Organizations currently have little time left if they are using Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1. Both products are slated to lose support on Jan. 14, 2020.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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