Windows Autopilot is a suite of capabilities powered by cloud-based services. It is designed to simplify deployment and management of new Windows 10 PC’s along with enhancements to Mobile Device Management and new Device Health features in Windows Analytics. Essentially, order standard equipment through a specific process of providing corporate information, and the equipment shows up (directly to the end-user if chosen) ready to go – including connecting to the corporate network, standard apps, image, etc.
Prior to an announcement this week, Autopilot was only designed for Microsoft’s own Surface devices. But, Microsoft has now recently announced that Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Toshiba are participating device manufacturers and Panasonic and Acer will be coming soon.
Windows 10 Fall Update is just around the corner. The following new features will be included in this update:
Windows Autopilot Reset – a new reset mechanism to reset a fully configured device while maintaining MDM management and AAD connection state and automatically get the device back into a fully configured state.
Enhanced Personalization with Windows Autopilot Deployment – ability to pre-assign a device to a specific employee in the organization via cloud-configuration.
Self Service Active Directory domain join – self-service deployment to get new Windows 10 devices into Active Directory domain joined state along with Microsoft Intune enrollment.
Microsoft’s Windows Autopilot program continues to make waves. Whether or not those waves are artificially created like in a wave pool, or are the welcoming respite truly full of sea spray and customer value is yet to be seen. However, one partner has now jumped on board the program. Lenovo has announced that it will participate in this program and include its own PCs and devices as part of the auto-configuration service.
Windows AutoPilot is a collection of technologies used to set up and pre-configure new devices, getting them ready for productive use. In addition, you can use Windows AutoPilot to reset, repurpose and recover devices. This solution enables an IT department to achieve the above with little to no infrastructure to manage, with a process that’s easy and simple.
New PC buying, receiving, setup, and deployment continues to be one of the most time consuming jobs for IT Pros and first-level Helpdesk staff. The AutoPilot program seeks to minimize the time required in the process. And, while not publicly noted, this new process could potentially eliminate the requirement for a staff person to aid in the task. Eventually, with full integration into Microsoft Intune, AutoPilot could be used to acquire and deploy equipment directly to a mobile worker without the IT staff ever having to be involved.