Microsoft 365 Business Tech Series Videos – Windows Autopilot
In late June I was approached to record some short technical overview videos on Microsoft 365 Business, and now that they are recorded and published, it’s time to review them, and provide some additional resources and any important updates since the content was created. This is the twelfth video in the series, and the focus is on Windows Autopilot.
Windows Autopilot provides an alternative approach to device lifecycle management in the organisation, including assisting with the initial deployment and ongoing management and eventual device retirement. The capabilities of Windows Autopilot are constantly evolving, and this week coming at Microsoft Ignite there are several sessions which will cover some of the changes that have been introduced in recent Windows 10 releases. If you want to get a better idea of the new capbilities coming in Autopilot, it's good idea to sign up for the Windows Insider program and sign up for the fast release or skip ahead if that option is available. This way you get to see the new capabilites that Windows 10 releases will enable, with Intune exposing some of these capabilitiess pretty early on. That leads in to what I will focus on in this post, the different ways you can get started with AutoPilot in Microsoft 365 Business.
The first option, and probably the safest starting point, is to use the Windows Autopilot capabilities exposed in the Microsoft 365 Business Admin Center. This is a safe, known option to choose. It may not expose everything that gets added to Windows Autopilot over time, but at least you know the features you are deploying are supporting on current WIndows 10 releases rather than accidentally trying to roll out a feature that's in preview.
Microsoft 365 Business Admin Center
Over time you will probably start depending more on some of the capabilities that Intune exposes. In the video you can see that I have made a few additional customisations that change the first sign in experience for the user, primarily highlighting how far through the different stages has progressed, as well as the ability to permit or block the user from accessing the desktop prior to the completion of the enrolment and device policies.
Managing Windows Autopilot with Intune
For partners that want to register and configure devices across multiple tenants, the Partner Center can be used.
Windows Autopilot in the Partner Center
The final option is the original way of adding devices to the tenant, using Microsoft Store for Business. Moving forward this is probably the option you are least likely to use unless you have a very specific requirement to use that portal. While Microsoft 365 Business was in early preview, this was the recommended approach, but then it was integrated directly into the Admin Center.
Microsoft Store for Business
I'm keeping this post fairly light in order to be able to dig a bit deeper with Windows Autopilot content as Ignite 2018 progresses. I'll get a chance to spend some time with a few of the members of the Autopilot team, and see what guidance they are currently giving for organisations of all sizes.