Many people ping me on a weekly basis wanting to know what Microsoft’s Windows AutoPilot is and understand what it means or if they can use it right away..
Microsoft and other vendors are marketing as the new zero-touch deployment experience.
This is what I tell them:
Windows AutoPilot is a process not a technology. (It utilizes a lot of existing technologies) -It is the concept of provisioning and managing PCs like we do phones
Windows AutoPilot is a collection of technologies to simplify and automate Windows Out of Box Experience (OOBE experience), which starts with the registration of the device into the Microsoft Windows Store for Business (Autopilot Dashboard) and ends with the execution of the specific configuration based on end-user login (profile) via an automated script delivered by Modern Device Management (MDM) tool. AutoPilot service helps organization to pre-configure new devices, recover, re-purpose and reset existing devices.
It was introduced in early November 2017 by Microsoft. (ie: It is NEW and still in development)
Every machine that has Windows 10 v1703 or better, calls “home” during first time configuration (out-of-box experience), where “home” is the Microsoft Store for Business’s AutoPilot Registry.
If the machine is “registered” with Windows AutoPilot then it bypasses the standard consumer out-of-box experience and goes directly into
- Asking for Language
- Connect to WIFI or network
- Presents the branded Company Registration page asking the user to enter their corporate credentials.
The process then uses MDM (think: Intune / AirWatch/ Mobile Iron, etc.) enrollment, and the company’s configuration workflow executes.
Device redeployment works in a similar way, but needs to be configured.
- Devices must be registered to the organization
- Company branding needs to be configured on Microsoft Store Portal.
- Network connectivity to cloud services used by Windows AutoPilot
- Devices have to be pre-installed with Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise or Education, of version 1703 or later
- Devices must have access to the internet
- Azure AD Premium P1 or P2
- Microsoft Intune or other MDM services to manage your devices
What does it mean to register a device?
In order to register a device In order to register devices, you will need to acquire their hardware ID and register it.
You can execute the Microsoft provided: “Get-WindowsAutoPilotInfo” PowerShell script, which will generate a .csv file with the device’s hardware ID, and then upload to the Microsoft Store for Business The File contains the following data:
- Column A: Device Serial Number
- Column B: Windows Product ID
- Column C: Hardware Hash
Multiple devices can be registered in bulk by having multiple rows with device information.
Where Can I find more information?
- Microsoft’s Windows AutoPilot Deployment Overview / Demo Short – 6 minute – Video
- Full Windows AutoPilot Documentation
Microsoft Autopilot Links