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Windows AutoPilot new features for Insiders

Last week I wrote about the importance of us IT pros dealing with Windows to join Windows Insider Program for Business. A few days ago, Ed wrote about Windows AutoPilot and where it’s going, mentioning two new cool features in AutoPilot. Both of these new interesting new features are currently only available as previews for Windows Insiders: Windows AutoPilot Self-Deploying Mode and Windows AutoPilot Remote Reset. To be able to test them is just one more good reason to join Insider Program for Business (or maybe two good reasons)! Here’s a little more information on what they have to offer.

Windows AutoPilot Self-Deploying Mode

According to Microsoft, deployment of Windows should be zero touch experience, for both IT and the end user. If you ask me, Microsoft has reached that goal beautifully. Self-Deploying Mode makes it a piece of cake: The hardware manufacturer ships the device directly to the user, IT creates a profile in InTune, the end user powers on the device, connects to network and signs in. That’s it. The device will be registered to the organization’s Azure AD, with all policies, applications, security certificates and such in place.

From my point of view, the most interesting thing about Self-Deploying Mode is how easy it is to deploy kiosk devices. Quoting Microsoft’s Windows IT Pro Blog:

Windows Autopilot’s Self-Deploying mode also enables you to effortlessly deploy Windows 10 as a kiosk, digital signage device, or shared productivity device. For example, if you leverage the new Kiosk Browser—an app that leverages Microsoft Edge to create a tailored and managed browsing experience—and Microsoft Intune policies to create a local automatic logon account, you can transform an off-the-shelf Windows 10 device into a browser kiosk– all that it would take is power on the device and walk away.

I can see endless opportunities for Self-Deployment Mode, be it deploying new devices to corporate users or kiosk devices for various purposes. Windows AutoPilot Self-Deploying Mode is available for you to test with Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17672 and later.

Windows AutoPilot Remote Reset

The bigger the organization, the more often IT needs to reset devices and prepare them for new employees. Windows AutoPilot Remote Reset makes this easier than ever before. Without ever seeing the device, IT can simply click one single button in InTune to completely reset it. This makes it ready for the next user to take over the device just by powering it on, connecting to the network and signing in with Azure AD credentials.

AutoPilot Remote Reset is the successor of Windows Automatic Redeployment introduced in AutoPilot in Windows 10 version 1709. Whereas Redeployment required physical access to the device, Remote Reset works from the InTune admin panel. Quoting the Windows IT Pro Blog:

Once either a local or remote Windows Autopilot Reset is complete, the device will automatically:

  • Retain the region, language, and keyboard settings as configured prior to the reset.
  • Connect to Wi-Fi using the network credentials provisioned to the device prior to the reset.
  • Apply a new provisioning package (if a provisioning package is inserted via USB when Windows Autopilot Reset is triggered), or reapply the original provisioning package cached locally on the device.
  • Retain Azure AD Join and Microsoft Intune enrollment.
  • Return to a known, good, managed and synchronized state.

Whatever the reason is that you must redeploy, AutoPilot Remote Reset allows you to do it without physically accessing the device. When reset is done in InTune, the next time the device is powered on, it will go through the Self-Deployment sequence. As with Self-Deployment Mode, Remote Reset is currently available only in Windows 10 Insider Build 17672 and later.

Read more in the Windows IT Pro Blog.




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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