Microsoft unveils new deployment options for Windows Autopilot

When Microsoft announced the Windows Autopilot management tool in June 2017 as part of the Fall Creators Update, its goal was to make it easier for IT professionals to provision and manage Windows 10 devices without loading custom images. Microsoft announced that it is expanding those provisioning options with new features that have just been rolled out in preview to the Windows Insider Program.

The software giant added a new capability to Windows Autopilot called "Self-Deploying mode" with the goal of "extending the zero-touch experience from IT to the user deploying the device." That means all a user must do is press the power button to get a new Windows 10 device ready for business use without requiring user interaction. Users can also "configure the device to self-deploy into a locked down kiosk, a digital signage, or a shared productivity device," according to Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President of Enterprise Mobility and Security at Microsoft.

Windows Autopilot also has a new reset feature which allows an Intune-managed Windows 10 device to be reset and re-deployed in a business-ready mode for a new user, no physical access required.

These new capabilities are available for testing to Windows Insiders with Microsoft Intune and Windows 10 build 17686 which was released to the Fast ring yesterday. Check out the video below to see how Windows Autopilot works with co-management.

Additionally, Microsoft added the following Windows Autopilot capabilities to the Windows 10 April 2018 Update (version 1803):

Enrollment Status page

We received tons of feedback from Windows Autopilot customers who want the ability to hold the device in the out-of-box setup experience until the configured policies and apps have been provisioned to the device. This enables IT admins to be assured the device is configured into a fully business-ready state prior to users getting to the desktop. This is made possible with a capability called “Enrollment Status” and is available today with Windows 10 April 2018 Update (version 1803) and Microsoft Intune.

Device vendor supply chain integration

We enabled Windows 10 OEMs and hardware vendors to integrate Windows Autopilot into their supply chain and fulfillment systems so that devices are registered in Windows Autopilot to your organization the moment your purchase is fulfilled. This makes the registration of Windows Autopilot devices completely hands-free and zero-touch for you as well as your device vendor/OEM. Contact your device reseller to find out if they are supporting Windows Autopilot.

Automatic Windows Autopilot profile assignment

We integrated Azure Active Directory (AD) dynamic groups with Windows Autopilot and Microsoft Intune to deliver a zero-touch experience for Windows Autopilot profile assignments on all Windows Autopilot devices.

Dell began shipping PCs with Windows Autopilot to customers in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, and the UK last April, making it the first OEM to do so, while Lenovo kicked off testing for the management tool with early adopters in the same month. Meanwhile, HP will start shipping Windows Autopilot-equipped PCs in the fall.

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