Microsoft Desktop Analytics for SCCM available

[German]A brief message for administrators: Microsoft has released its ‘Desktop Analytics’ product, which can be used to check the compatibility of Windows endpoints, as generally available for SCCM.


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Microsoft Desktop Analytics is designed to help business users verify their app compatibility and minimize issues with the latest Windows 10 feature updates. Mary Foley now points to the general release in this tweet.

The announcement was made on October 16, 2019 by Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365 in this blog post,

What is Desktop Analytics for?

Desktop Analytics is a cloud-based service that integrates with the System Center Configuration Manager. The goal is to help IT professionals manage Windows endpoints in a data-driven manner. By evaluating millions of registered endpoints, the cloud can quickly determine whether hardware and software components are incompatible.

Since the public preview in July 2019, thousands of companies have benefited from the insights gained from millions of registered endpoints. Desktop Analytics gives administrators insight and information about the clients they are using, enabling them to make informed decisions about the updateability of existing Windows endpoints.


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What you can do with Desktop Analytics

By combining the data specific to the customer’s business with aggregated intelligence from millions of Windows devices connected to Microsoft’s cloud services, Desktop Analytics allows the administrator to do some remarkable things:

  • Gain a comprehensive view of the endpoints, applications, and drivers to manage in the enterprise ecosystem.
  • Evaluate application and driver compatibility with the latest Windows feature updates, get recommendations to reduce known issues, and get advanced insight for industry applications.
  • Set up a set of pilot systems that represent the enterprise environment using artificial intelligence (AI) and the Microsoft cloud to optimize.

Desktop Analytics
(Desktop Analytics, Source: Microsoft Click to size)

Since the preview was released, Microsoft has integrated many new features into Desktop Analytics. Version 1906 of the System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) integrates Desktop Analytics with tiered implementations. The hope associated with the use of desktop analytics: Customers can migrate their Windows 10 systems faster.

Desktop Analytics Requirements

Desktop Analytics requires that users have a subscription to Windows 10 Enterprise E3 or E5, Microsoft 365 F1, E3 or E5, Windows 10 Education A3 or A5, Microsoft 365 A3 or A5, or Windows Virtual Desktop Access E3 or E5. It is not available for use with Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC systems. It also does not support upgrades from 32-bit to 64-bit architectures. 

Some nasty thoughts

Reading Micrsoft’s blog post for details brought some nasty thoughts to my mind. Microsoft inflates a big balloon for a problem you wouldn’t have if we haven’t theat unfortunate Windows as a Service.

Large customers with thousands of Windows 10 systems (referred to as endpoints) now need software with AI and cloud connectivity to ensure that new features that hardly anyone needs and wants to have somehow get on the boxes. I would translate it as: There was a lot of pressure from large customers to fix the issues caused from the rollout of feature updates – so Microsoft had decided to throw their customers a little tool off their feet.

But I wonder how this corresponds to the machine-learning based rollout of feature updates? Does this only works on machines that are updated directly by Windows Update=

But the mass of people who don’t want to or can’t be on the road with Desktop Analytics are looking into ‘an empty sack’ if it comes to Windows as a Service and product compatibility. They rely on Microsoft’s decision to declare ‘a system is upgrade compatible enough’. Well, that thoughts are not nice, but in my opinion, we (the majority of Windows 10 users) will continue to struggle with serious upgrade issues. So Microsoft: Please proof me, that I’m wrong with my assumptions.


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