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Microsoft Starts Rolling Out Windows Release Health

The Windows Release Health service has started rolling out to Microsoft 365 subscribers, Microsoft announced this week.

First described at Ignite earlier this month, the feature is designed to keep organizations informed of feature updates and cumulative updates to Windows 10, as well as any "known issues" and "workarounds," plus upcoming servicing milestones. The integration between Microsoft 365 and Windows Release Health will bring content from the Windows Release Health Hub documentation page into the Microsoft 365 Admin Center portal.

Microsoft is planning a phased rollout of the new Windows Release Health service within the Microsoft 365 Admin Center Portal. The rollout is expected to reach completion by the "end of April."

One catch is that organizations will need at least E3 or A3 licensing on both Microsoft 365 Enterprise and Windows 10 Enterprise products to get the new Windows Release Health service integration. Another catch is that IT pros will need to have Service Support Admin role permissions, at minimum, to view the Windows Release Health content. It's immediately available to IT pros with Global Admin or Service Admin roles, though.

Tailored for IT Pros
The content delivered by the Windows Release Health service is detailed and more frequently updated. It's not the same content that's found in the publicly accessible Windows Release Health Hub document page.

"Because the admin center is specifically designed for IT admins, you will find greater technical detail about known issues, earlier reminders about important milestones like end of service, and more resources to help you plan for and deploy Windows updates," the announcement explained.

In particular, IT pros will get "details to help you diagnose issues in your environment, steps to mitigate issues, and root cause analysis," Microsoft explained in an FAQ document. The information is general and is not tailored to a tenant's particular environment, but Microsoft is contemplating some future customizations.

"Future iterations of the solution may target content based on customer location, industry or Windows version," the FAQ noted.

Sharing Is Caring?
There's an obvious need for public communication and information sharing about Windows 10 issues. For instance, multiple Windows 10 security patches released this month by Microsoft have continued to cause printing troubles for organizations, as described in this Microsoft Message Center entry. However, Microsoft does not want the Windows Release Health service to be used to publicly communicate such issues.

"Windows release health is provided to you as a licensed Windows customer and is not to be shared publicly," the FAQ bluntly stated.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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