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Active Directory / GPO / Windows 10

Supporting Windows 10 in Your Environment

Now that Windows 10 has been released to the public, it’s time to update your environment to support management and deployment of the new operating system.  Below are some of the common toolsets to consider updating, along with links to the relevant updates at release time and some notes.

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(A few ot these items are still pending release as of the Windows 10 public release, but they are expected in short order and I will update the post with the links as they become available.)


Group Policy Admin Templates – While the Windows 8.1 group policy templates contain a lot of the updated settings you might want for managing Windows 10, particularly if you’re moving from Windows 7, there are still some new settings specific to Windows 10 that you will need the updated ADMX templates to manage.


Key Management Service (KMS) update – A recently released update (KB3058168) adds functionality to Windows 8.1 KMS for support “to activate a later version of Windows.” I’ll let you guess what that version might be, but if you are using KMS to manage your Windows activations you’ll want this update to ensure seamless transition to Windows 10.


Windows 10 Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) -This is a big one, in particular because it contains components used in multiple management platforms.  The new ADK contains the updated WinPE images build on the Windows 10 code base, so if you’re using MDT or ConfigMgr for OS deployment and want to deploy Windows 10 this is a must.  It also contains the new Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (ICD) tool, which is a very interesting and powerful option for handling image customization not only during installation but also at runtime (think of processing an unattend.xml file on a machine that’s already running).


Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT)  – MDT 2013 Update 1 Preview was released to support the Windows 10 Technical Preview, but it only makes sense that you would want a public release of MDT to support a public release of the final OS.  This should be released very soon. [Update] MDT 2013 Update 1 has now been released and is available for download.


System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2007 [Pending] – While there are no plans to support OS deployment for Windows 10 in SCCM 2007, Microsoft does intend to release a feature pack to add full management support for Windows 10. Per a post on the System Center Configuration Manager Team Blog, that feature pack should be released in Q4 of this year. [Update] Microsoft has released KB3044077 providing Software Deployment, Software Updates and DCM support for Windows 10 LTSB version only (other Windows 10 versions are still unsupported at this time).


System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) – ConfigMgr 2012 has moderate support for Windows 10 right out of the gate in terms of things like inventory and app deployment, but if you want full support you’ll need to upgrade to ConfigMgr 2012 SP2 or ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1 (depending on which you’re currently running and licensed for).  The link for this item is to the release announcment since there are different download locationd depending on which version you’re running. If there is any confusion about which update file to download for which version, Jason Sandys has a great article explaining which update you need.  As previously stated, note that you will want to update the Windows ADK to get the updated WinPE and USMT versions for full Windows 10 deployment support. I would recommend uninstalling the previous ADK and installing the new one before applying the Service Pack as that will allow it to automatically update the default boot images with the new WinPE image.


Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) – One of the exciting announcements lost in the shuffle surrounding Windows 10 was the inclusion of MDOP as part of standard Software Assurance licensing.  With MDOP no longer being a separate licensing expense, this opens it up for much wider adoption.  While the MDOP 2014 SP2 components appeared to be fully functional when previously tested with Windows 10 Technical Preview, it is recommended you download the newer versions to ensure full Windows 10 support. [Update] MDOP 2015 has been released to MSDN subscribers.  Click on the Details link on the download page for more information on the new features and functionality.


If you’re responsible for managing Windows deployments at an organization that is seriously considering the move to Windows 10, hopefully this information will help you get started down the road for supporting this latest release!


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  1. Awesome summary Phil, I had not heard about MDOP either, so that is great!

  2. Thanks for the post, Phil! You stated that SCCM 2012 R2 (before SP2) would work for Windows 10 for app deployments, and inventory. Do you know if software updates deployments will work, too?

    • Software Updates are a whole separate issue due to the changes in how Software Updates are being deployed (“servicing branches”). Stay tuned for more info on that front.

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