Microsoft has announced an update to its office suite and productivity software which IT departments can use to ensure that applications are always up-to-date.
As explained in a company blog post (opens in new tab)a new feature for Microsoft 365 now allows IT admins to push updates to business laptops and pcs while they are inactive or locked.
If an outdated application is open, the function will close it (if safe to do so), apply the update, and restore the instance to its original state. Apparently this whole process is done in about four seconds.
Microsoft 365 updates
Throughout the year, Microsoft rolls out hundreds and hundreds of feature updates and security patches in its office software. The problem for companies is that employees rarely go out of their way to manually install updates, while forced update models typically involve some degree of interruption.
The goal of the new “update under lock” feature, Microsoft says, is to help customers ensure their deployments are as secure and up-to-date as possible, without taking employees out of work halfway through.
“Do you or your end users suffer from update notifications? Are you having trouble achieving compliance?” the firm asked. “Fear not, because Microsoft has developed an optimization that applies a pending update to Microsoft 365 apps while a machine is in idle or locked mode, even when apps are running.”
“Update locked will help you achieve compliance within your timeframe without disturbing your internal users, and may reduce the need for abrupt forced updates, making updates more reliable by saving app status before closing.”
although collaboration platform Teams operates under a separate update model, the new feature applies to virtually all other Microsoft 365 application apps (Word, Excel and Power Pointfor example) installed on Windows devices. TechRadar Pro Microsoft has asked if the feature will come to macOS in the future.
The optimization is automatically rolled out to eligible customers, who “live under the hood to make your life easier,” explains Microsoft.