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Microsoft Tech Summit – Day Two


Thursday marked the second and final day of Microsoft’s Amsterdam Tech Summit. Leaving immediately after the last session, I managed to get myself to Amsterdam’s Main Railway Station about 15 minutes before my train departed. After a stressful journey of over 8 hours on a  train filled with people travelling for the four-day Easter holiday weekend, I got home in the wee hours of Friday morning. Too tired to do anything except sleep at that point, I write this concluding travelogue, now having rested all day Friday. What a trip!

The most interesting part of day two was a breakout session entitled Modernizing Windows 10 Deployment with Windows AutoPilot by Michael Niehaus, Principal Program Manager, Windows & Devices Group, modern deployment team (LinkedIn, Twitter).

Click to open enlarged in a new tab. Image by Microsoft Corporation

With all its simplicity, deploying Microsoft 365 (Windows 10, Office 365, Enterprise Mobility & Security) to new or existing computers is something that employees themselves can handle. In fact, IT need not even touch those devices. Instead, IT sets up deployment profiles and settings, and the OEM manufacturer ships each device directly to a specific employee who then unboxes it, turns it on, signs in with Azure AD credentials. After that, AutoPilot takes care of the rest. Brilliant!

On existing hardware this requires one extra step. In this case, the user must harvest a device ID using a simple PowerShell script, then send that ID to the IT department, which adds it to the AutoPilot data.

Click to open enlarged in a new tab. Image by Microsoft Corporation

All devices capable of running Windows 10 may be used in this environment. No wonder many manufacturers are starting to add AutoPilot support to their new devices. Microsoft Surface devices can already be used in AutoPilot deployment no need to harvest device IDs manually. Lenovo has announced it will join these ranks by end of March (which ends today, by the way!), HP will follow later during the first half of 2018. Dell, Panasonic, Fujitsu and Toshiba plan to do likewise before the end of 2018.

In case you’re interested, you can view Michael Niehaus’ presentation on AutoPilot, including a snazzy demo deployment video, through the Microsoft Tech Community: http://w10g.eu/AutoPilot

Day 2 also included another great breakout session, Confidently migrate your apps, data and infrastructure to Microsoft Azure. I also attended a Microsoft 365 workshop, in addition to a lot of conversations with fellow geeks from all over Europe. As I have mentioned in my earlier Tech Summit travelogues, we will cover AutoPilot, Azure, Azure AD and Microsoft 365 in more depth in future posts and articles still to come here at Win10.guru.

In addition, I engaged in some interesting dialog with people from Global Knowledge. That’s why I want to remind you guys to use this link from our post about their courses. If you do that when you purchase training from them, you will help us and get a nice discount for yourself as well.

To summarize my journey, the Microsoft Tech Summit Amsterdam 2018 was everything I had expected it to be. Using today’s technology, it is totally possible to educate and train yourself, get a diploma or a degree, and learn almost everything there is to know without leaving home or your PC. However, nothing beats meeting your peers in real life, talking and listening face to face. I am extremely glad I had the opportunity to be there, to meet those people, to participate in sessions and workshops and to simply enjoy the atmosphere and the experience. Truly a great trip!

Tot ziens, Amsterdam!

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Author: Kari Finn

A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site TenForums.com.

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