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Windows 10 Creators Update is here; What’s in it for System Admins?

Microsoft released Windows 10 v 1703, a.k.a Creator Update on April 11, 2017. This is the 3rd major feature release for Windows 10 and contains lots of new features, especially for IT Administrators, System Admins, etc that typically design, deploy and manage Desktops. Here’s a breakdown of the new features in Creators Update for System Administrators –

1.       Windows Configuration Designer – The former Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (ICD) has been renamed to Windows Configuration Designer and its features have been limited to only set run time configurations. The ability to create images has been removed from this device altogether. The idea is that students or non-technical folks can now create quick configuration packages for Windows 10 and deploy them in the environment. It’s ideal for small businesses. The new wizard allows you to configure device name, license key, uninstall pre-installed software,  install new software, configure Wi-Fi settings, join the device to domain network, and perform some other AD management related tasks along with provision for Kiosk and mobile devices. In addition, the tool also has new PowerShell cmdlets to deploy provisioning packages and support for adding mobile devices to MDM. The updated tool is now available via the App Store in addition to being part of the Windows ADK.

2.      Better support for Mobile Device Management – If you are looking to move from Group Policy management to Intune, then you’ll love the fact that Microsoft has added a new tool called MMAT (MDM Migration Analysis Tool), which allows you to migrate your GPO settings over to MDM. In addition, MDM now has the ability to set security policies that was not previously available. In fact Microsoft has provided 300 new GPO policies in MDM that you can take advantage of. In addition the new configurations, MDM now has the ability to deploy Office client via ODT directly (office CSP), the ability to stream and manage app-v packages (EnterpriseAppVManagement CSP), device encryption management (BitLocker CSP), Ability to remove user-installed or pre-installed applications while providing the option to keep user data (CleanPC CSP),  as well as the ability to enable and configure network proxy server (NetworkProxy CSP). They have also added support for MAM (Mobile Application Management) as well as new GPO and MDM policies for better manageability support for Microsoft Edge.

3.      New added PowerShell Cmdlets –There are new PowerShell cmdlets for installing provisioning packages. Also PowerShell shortcut officially replaces the cmd prompt shortcut in the Quick Link menu (windows + x)

4.    Windows as a Service – For Windows as a Service, Microsoft has added some features that provides enhanced control in Windows Update for Business to configure when feature and quality updates can be installed. Express update support has been added to Configuration Manager and you now have the ability to monitor progress of your updates via Update compliance.

5.      Hyper-V Enhancements – There are several Hyper-V related enhancements from having the option to ‘Quick Create’ virtual machines to being able to checkpoint and save for nested Hyper-V, improved networking, ability to override scaling and resize Hyper-V windows in session mode amongst others. For a comprehensive list of Hyper-V updates, take a look at Microsoft blog article What’s new in Hyper-V for the Windows 10 Creators Update?

 

The above are just some of the highlights of the Creators Update features. For an indebt information on what the new Windows 10 release looks like, please visit Microsoft at https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/windowsitpro/2017/04/05/whats-new-for-it-pros-in-the-windows-10-creators-update/

 

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