Windows 10, the latest version of Microsoft's flagship operating system is a hit among consumers. With 14 million devices running the software a day after its July 29 launch, the OS is off to a strong start.
Now, the Redmond, Wash., software giant is looking to bring businesses onboard with a new set of management capabilities.
"One great piece of news at the outset of Windows 10 is that it can be managed from your existing infrastructure—i.e. ConfigMgr 2012 and ConfigMgr 2012 R2," said Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Enterprise Client and Mobility group, in an Aug. 18 statement. "Windows 10 also continues support for Group Policy and WMI [Windows Management Instrumentation], and it advances its MDM [mobile-device management] support in significant ways."
That Windows 10 would inherit the administrator-friendly attributes of its predecessors is no surprise, but the company has bulked up those capabilities with "a number of new and improved deployment and management capabilities built into core Windows that are then available in ConfigMgr and Intune," added Anderson.
Yesterday, the company announced a one-step MDM enrollment feature when Windows 10 devices join environments managed by Azure Active Directory (AD) Premium and Intune, greatly reducing the need for administrator intervention. "By combining login, Azure AD Join and Intune MDM enrollment in one easy step, we've made it drop-dead simple to bring devices into a well-managed state that complies with your corporate policies," stated Alex Simons, director of program management at Microsoft's Identity and Security Services Division.
Administrators should run into fewer issues upgrading to Windows 10, according to Anderson.
"Using a ConfigMgr task sequence, upgrades can be delivered by running setup, and maintaining ConfigMgr client stability throughout the process," he said. "The upgrade process can also handle any errors, like driver or application compatibility through the upgrade process—and then even manage the rollback if necessary."
Windows 10 also does a better job of linking users to their corporate apps and data, according to Anderson.
"Windows 10 fully supports and is fully aware of identity in the cloud (Azure Active Directory)," he wrote in a blog post today. "Doing this makes a lot of sense; users want to be productive on all their devices and they want their work environment to be available and consistent on and delivered to all of their devices."
Most customers run Active Directory in a hybrid cloud model, using Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) to extend their capabilities, he noted. According to Microsoft's figures, Azure AD handles more than 5 billion authentications each week for over 5 million organizations. Currently, more than 450 million identities are being stored on the cloud-based services.
Featuring more seamless integration with Azure AD, Windows 10 slashes the time it takes administrators to manage identities compared to previous versions of the OS, asserted Anderson.
"With Windows 10, we are introducing the ability to have personal profile items roam across your MSA [Microsoft Security Account], and, separately, have your corporate profile items roam with your Azure Active Directory (AAD) account. This is all enabled within the same login session on Windows 10," he stated.