Remember those pesky error codes you had to google the hell out of when trying to troubleshoot Software Updates on clients in ConfigMgr 2007? If your answer is flashing white rage or similar, then you will like this new simple reporting feature in ConfigMgr 2012.
The most common error I witnessed when working with Software Updates was simply a Group Policy conflict, but I always had to google the error code from the WindowsUpdate.log on the client to actually find out what was wrong with my non-working clients. In ConfigMgr 2012 most error codes not only display directly in the console, but they also have a wonderful description explaining what the error code means!
In my example above there is no doubt that the problem for 99 percent of the clients is in fact a Group Policy conflict.
You can find these codes when going to the Monitoring workspace, click Deployments, right click a deployment containing your Software Updates and choose View Status. Here you can find machines that report all the statuses, Compliant, Not Compliant, Errors and Unknown.
Happy patching 🙂