Microsoft will give enterprises control over Windows driver updates

Microsoft has announced a new deployment service for drivers and firmware that will make it easier for IT admins to select the right drivers for devices on their enterprise network.

Once the new service is available, admins will be able to choose the drivers to be offered via Windows Update in their environment out of a selection of matching options and schedule them for deployment.

Admins will pick the right ones by browsing the entire collection of drivers primarily built by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and independent hardware vendors (IHVs) available on Windows Update.

This will prevent the entire catalog of drivers from being offered to endpoint users, with only those that receive admin-approval being delivered instead.

“Microsoft is excited to announce a new deployment service for driver and firmware updates, giving you visibility into the drivers hosted in Windows Update that are a match for your enterprise devices [..],” the company said earlier this week.

Redmond also wants to offer enterprises “over both the selection of individual updates and the scheduling of update deployments to devices from Windows Update.”

New enterprise driver deployment service
New enterprise driver deployment service (Microsoft)

Microsoft also highlighted some of the reasons why enterprises would want to make sure that the right drivers are deployed in their environment:

  • 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.
  • Security incidents are often mitigated with driver updates and require a quick servicing response.

This new driver updating logic allowing enterprises to approve and schedule driver and firmware updates and monitor their deployments will be available through Windows Update for Business and Intune.

Microsoft will launch the new commercial driver deployment service for enterprises as a private preview program during the next weeks.

“When our Private Preview launches, co-management will support configuring a cloud scan for drivers only, knowing that Windows Update will offer only those drivers you approved and at the time you scheduled them,” Microsoft said.

“IT admins can access the deployment service in Intune by creating Driver Update Policies and assigning devices to them.”

The service will be publicly coming to Intune and the Microsoft Graph later this year, during the second half of 2021.