Windows Autopilot is a technology that allows businesses to deploy or onboard new devices securely and easily without having to go through the traditional imaging process. Anyone who manages IT systems for a large organization can attest to the countless hours wasted on tedious and time-consuming tasks related to deploying new Windows devices.
Despite the fact that Windows comes pre-installed, it’s still necessary to build and maintain custom images, set up applications, install drivers, and configure policies for each new device. This process is a huge drain on time and resources and often takes IT staff away from other projects where their skills would be better put to use.
Windows Autopilot was created to address this issue. It allows businesses to set up new devices in minutes, and there’s no need for any manual intervention on the part of IT staff.
In this article, we will discuss how Windows Autopilot works and how you can use it to deploy new devices in your organization.
What Is Windows Autopilot?
Windows Autopilot is a cloud-based service that was first launched as part of an OS update in 2017. It’s designed to make it easier for organizations to deploy new devices by automating the setup and configuration process.
Rather than tasking your IT team with countless hours of setup, registration, and configuration, Windows Autopilot means that end users can set up their own devices in a user-friendly way without any assistance from the IT department.
In addition to using Windows Autopilot to set up new devices, it’s also an efficient way to reset and recover devices that have been corrupted or that are to be deployed to a new user.
How It Works
Windows Autopilot transforms the traditional time-consuming procedures of deploying new Windows machines into a quick and simple process:
The IT department or device owner sets up an Autopilot deployment profile. This profile includes all the necessary information about the devices, including their configuration and settings.
The new device is connected to the network. The device will automatically download the relevant Autopilot software and be configured according to the settings specified in the deployment profile.
The user signs in with their Azure profile and follows the on-screen instructions to finish the setup process. All privacy settings, service setup, and applications are automatically configured and personalized for the user.
To use Windows Autopilot, you will need an Azure Active Directory subscription and Microsoft Intune or another MDM service. This is because Windows Autopilot depends on specific capabilities and features that are available in one of the following subscription services:
- Microsoft 365 Business Premium subscription
- Microsoft 365 F1 or F3 subscription
- Microsoft 365 Academic A1, A3 or A5 subscription
- Microsoft 365 Enterprise E3 or E5 subscription including Windows client, Microsoft 365, Azure AD, and Intune
- Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 or E5 subscription including all necessary Azure AD and Intune features
- Intune for Education
- Azure Active Directory Premium P1 or P2 and Microsoft Intune or an alternative MDM service
What Are the Benefits of Windows AutoPilot?
Windows Autopilot offers a number of benefits that make it an essential tool for any business looking to deploy hundreds of new devices securely and easily:
- Fast and easy setup: Devices can be set up in minutes by end users, reducing pressure on your IT team and saving time and money.
- Personalized configuration: Windows Autopilot automatically configures settings and applications, including OEM registration, Cortana, privacy settings, and OneDrive, based on your company preferences.
- Zero-touch deployment: Devices can be automatically configured and registered without any user input, making the deployment process quick and easy.
- Disabled local administrator permissions: Ensure only authorized users have admin access to your devices.
- Automatic MDM enrollment: Devices are automatically enrolled with Microsoft Intune or your chosen MDM.
- Efficient device recovery: If a device is corrupted or needs to be redeployed to a new user, Windows Autopilot makes it simple to reset and recover the device.
- Company branding: You can use Windows Autopilot to enable your company branding in the OOBE setup process across all your new devices.
- Automatic updates and licensing: Devices are automatically registered with Microsoft, and updates and licensing are handled centrally by Azure Active Directory.
- Efficient and secure management of BYOD devices: You can use Windows Autopilot to manage BYOD devices without any user input, making it the perfect solution for businesses with a mix of personal and company-owned devices.
- Easily monitor and track the progress of new device configuration: You can use the Windows Autopilot ESP (Enrollment Status Page) feature to track the progress of new device deployments and see which devices have been successfully set up.
- Secure and protect devices for remote work: Windows Autopilot provides a secure deployment and management solution for businesses, helping to protect devices from risks such as data loss, theft, viruses, and ransomware infections. This can potentially save an organization hundreds of thousands of dollars in downtime, data recovery costs, and penalties.
Get Ready to Make Your Life Easier with Windows AutoPilot
To find out more about how Windows AutoPilot can benefit your business, contact our team of experts at Softlanding. We are a Microsoft partner and can help you get started with this essential tool for deploying new devices securely and easily.
Give us a call to take advantage of our managed IT and Microsoft consulting services. Planning today can save your business time, money, and valuable resources in the future.