It seems with each passing year; IT professionals continue to look for ways to streamline the deployment of Windows, and at each new Ignite or BUILD conference, Microsoft comes up with another proposal.
While there has yet to be a silver bullet solution developed to wrangle the sprawling deployment headaches that can come with Windows, Microsoft did announce a new approach to Windows 10 cloud configuration that could present light at the end of the tunnel for IT admins and their distribution of the operating system.
Enter Windows 10 in cloud configuration which works as the company's recommended configuration setup to distribute to cloud-based data storage, limited applications and provide support to the frontline, remote or individual workers. More specifically, Windows 10 in cloud-config is a "set of configuration settings for areas such as Windows Update for Business, Microsoft BitLocker, application deployment and compliance."
Cloud config is set up within Microsoft Intune, a part of Microsoft Endpoint Manager. It works on new and existing Windows 10 devices running Windows 10 Pro, Pro for Education, Pro for Workstations, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Windows 10 Education, and does not require any new licensing, software, or hardware. It can be used to pre-configure new devices, so they are ready to go when users open them for the first time, or to repurpose existing hardware to extend its lifetime. In addition, Windows 10 devices in cloud configuration have applications and capabilities specifically chosen by IT, helping to improve worker productivity while simultaneously improving the security posture and device compliance. Users are registered in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) and devices are enrolled into Microsoft Intune for cloud management.
Microsoft further details how cloud config can be used to help IT deployment by highlighting its ability to create a security baseline that is automatically updated through Windows Update for Business, uniform configurations, Microsoft Endpoint Manager deployment support, and establishing app provisions through desktop/app virtualization, to name a few.
Visiting the specific cloud-config Overview and Setup page, it appears IT admins can jump-start their updates as early as today.