AutoPilot Mode

By | June 7, 2020

Windows AutoPilot is system management without the servers. Similar to Microsoft’s InTune or SCCM, Windows AutoPilot can be used to manage devices. It requires Azure AD and some cloud-based services but the result is you can configure and tweak your devices and recover/reconfigure them quite easily without the infrastructure costs associated with a traditional SCCM multi-site deployment architecture.

Current capabilities of AutoPilot are:
> Automatically join devices to Azure AD
> Auto-enroll devices into MDM services, such as Microsoft Intune (requires an Azure AD Premium subscription: https:/ / docs. microsoft. com/ en- us/windows/ deployment/ windows- 10- auto- pilot#prerequisites)
> Restrict the administrator account creation
> Create and auto-assign devices to configuration groups based on a device’s profile
> Customize Out of Box Experience (OOBE) content specific to the organization

The key item OOBE is tweaking. This is a bit of work done by enterprises now with SCCM or MDT to tweak the installation of Windows on devices. But now it’s cloud-based here with AutoPilot (with of course an Azure AD Premium subscription, whatever that cost may be).

In a way, this will, perhaps eventually, make deployment-specialized IT professionals worry about their long-term survivability and with good cause. Fewer Exchange Server administrators remain compared to 10 years ago. Similar too will be deployment engineers, I believe.

Packaging apps and tweaking unattend.xml files will be going away I should think. Best to get prepared now. As this is a somewhat new offering at the time of writing, little else can be said about it, other than be prepared for easy deployments versus more traditional ones that require a bit more planning and infrastructure.

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