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4 June 2019

Microsoft’s modern desktop management

Windows desktop management is in transition. The destination – at least from Microsoft’s perspective – is what the company calls “modern management”, and there are some key ingredients. The first is cloud-based deployment and provisioning, which is based on configuration rather than system images. The second – identity management and authentication – is either based on Azure Active Directory (AAD), which is Microsoft’s global cloud directory as used by Office 365, or a combination of on-premise Active Directory and AAD. The third ingredient concerns settings and configuration, which are made via a mobile device management (MDM) model rather than by Group Policy. Group Policy is not going away, and still offers a finer degree of control. But the MDM approach has its advantages, including greater efficiency, the ability to manage Windows and non-Windows devices, and having no dependency on Active Directory. Managing updates One key aspect of Windows administration that is affected by this transition is managing Windows updates – ...

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