Microsoft’s Windows OS is the go-to OS for getting work done in the Enterprise segment. Hence EDD ( Enterprise Device Deployment ) plays a very crucial role in this complicated process. Microsoft has created Windows Autopilot with the aim to simplify this overall procedure so that enterprises can deploy their machines faster and get more work done.
What is EDD / Enterprise Device Deployment?
We all know that the enterprise’s both big and small buy devices in bulk to reduce overall cost and have a greater hardware compatibility.
EDD is the process by which enterprises set up and configure the devices bought by them to suit their workflow.
How is EDD currently done in the enterprise?
Enterprises currently specify their hardware requirements for a specific workflow, i.e. Development / Reporting / Testing, etc.
Hardware OEMs have different classes of preconfigured workstations to suit different enterprise needs.
Enterprises after receiving the hardware then create their custom Windows / Linux installation depending on their needs.
They receive a Volume Licensing Key / Custom OEM Windows installation copy which helps in the bulk deployment and management of devices.
Although Windows is preferred in other enterprises domains, development and related teams prefer Linux since it provides unlimited customization to the core.
What is Windows Autopilot?
Windows AutoPilot is a new set of features powered by Microsoft’s Azure cloud-based services that will simplify deployment and management of new Windows 10 PCs.
It also comes with enhancements to Mobile Device Management ( MDM ) and new Device Health features to help with Windows Analytics.
How is Windows Autopilot different from the current EDD scenario?
It allows the IT Team to customize the Windows 10 OOBE ( out of box setup experience ) using a cloud configuration, deliver a self-service deployment experience with new Windows 10 devices.
It would be much better than the current installation procedure needing multiple user inputs along the way.
Windows AutoPilot Deployment also works with existing Azure Active Directory ( AAD ) and Intune mobile device management ( IMDM ) services.
End users would just need to sign-in using their existing/new corporate credentials on their new PC / laptop devices, Windows AutoPilot Deployment will then fully configure the system: joined to Azure Active Directory ( AAD ), enrolled in Microsoft Intune, transformed to Windows 10 Enterprise, settings applied, Office 365 apps and line-of-business apps installed as well.
Windows Autopilot additional benefits (Planned with the Fall Creators Update aka Redstone 3 update):
Windows AutoPilot Reset: It is a new reset mechanism designed to reset a fully configured device while still maintaining MDM management and AAD connection state and automatically get the device back to a fully configured state.
Enhanced Selective Personalization: It has the ability to pre-assign a device to a specific employee in the organization via cloud-configuration.
Self Service Active Directory Domain Joining: Its self-service deployment will help to get new Windows 10 devices into Active Directory domain joined state along with its Microsoft Intune enrollment.
Introducing Windows Autopilot in the Enterprise Realm:
Microsoft is also planning to introduce Windows AutoPilot Deployment Program that will allow OEMs, distributors, and resellers to link devices to an existing organization.
What better way to test it other using own’s first party devices?
The Surface Team will hence pilot the Windows AutoPilot Deployment program with select customers and OEM partners starting this summer.
Surface category devices have created a cult of its own followers given Microsoft’s innovation in the hardware realm.
Devices like the Surface Pro has created a new device category such as 2-in-1s.
Microsoft’s Windows Autopilot Docs can be referred here.