Hot on the heels of an announcement about new security features coming in the next version of Windows 10, Microsoft today revealed some upcoming management improvements too.
“Our goal with Windows 10 has always been to modernize the way IT interacts with Windows devices, adopting simpler and easier approaches that leverage cloud-based services and help employees be more productive with Windows 10, Office 365 ProPlus and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS),” Microsoft partner director Rob Lefferts writes. “Today, I am happy to announce the latest innovation that helps enable this vision, Windows AutoPilot, a suite of capabilities powered by cloud-based services, designed to simplify deployment and management of new Windows 10 PCs along with enhancements to Mobile Device Management and new Device Health features in Windows Analytics.”
According to Lefferts, AutoPilot provides the following capabilities.
Self-service deployment. Windows AutoPilot Deployment is a complete overhaul of how IT admins deploy and manage Windows PCs in their environments. It is a cloud service that lets you customize the Windows 10 first-run experience for users, and it works seamlessly with Azure Active Directory and Intune’s mobile device management (MDM) services.
Device reset. Windows AutoPilot Reset is a new reset mechanism that will reset a fully configured device while maintaining MDM management and AAD connection state so you can get the device back into a fully configured state.
Enhanced personalization. IT can pre-assign a device to a specific employee in the organization via cloud-configuration.
Self-service domain join and Intune enrollment. IT can get new Windows 10 devices into an Active Directory domain joined state along with Microsoft Intune enrollment.
Simplified management. Each Windows 10 release includes new MDM capabilities, and the Fall Creators Update will bring Windows Defender Application Guard with security baseline settings, device provisioning progress monitoring, and even MDM support for Active Directory domain joined devices. The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will also add new kiosk configuration and management features, Microsoft says, supporting new multi-app scenarios and greatly simplified lockdown configurations.
Proactive insights. Windows Analytics helps IT ensure their devices are ready for Windows 10, and a new Device Health feature will identify issues and issue guidance to correct them. The Upgrade Readiness and Update Compliance features are being updated as well, Microsoft notes.
“Microsoft continues to improve the entire lifecycle of the device,” Lefferts concludes. “From provisioning to ongoing management, to data-driven run-time insights, we want to help partners and enterprises be more efficient, secure and improve employees’ experiences with Windows 10.”