Microsoft has a recommended set of configuration settings available to IT professionals who want to configure Windows 10 devices in the cloud. Called Windows 10 configuration “in the cloud,” these settings apply to Windows 10, Microsoft Endpoint Manager, and a subset of Windows applications. Microsoft made cloud setup details available through a new website and documentation on February 2.
Cloud config is not a new version, edition or mode of Windows, officials stressed. This is a collection of settings that can be applied to existing PCs running Windows 10 Professional, Windows 10 Enterprise, or Windows 10 Education, and deployed using Microsoft Endpoint Manager.
Microsoft is targeting Windows 10 cloud setup in businesses and educational institutions. Microsoft’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on its site describes cloud configuration as “a Microsoft recommended device configuration for Windows 10, optimized for the cloud for users with specific workflow needs.”
Cloud config is aimed at user groups with simplified needs, such as productivity and navigation, officials said. Ideal candidates for this would have no reliance on on-site infrastructure; use Windows 10 devices that don’t require a lot of complex settings, custom agents, etc. and use a targeted set of apps, including a few internal line-of-business apps, in addition to Microsoft’s own Office apps. Devices will be configured with the Windows 10 security baseline by default and will receive automatic updates through Windows Update for Business.
Via the cloud configuration, users are registered with “Azure Active Directory; configure using Intune in EndPoint Manager; and receive a set of ‘curated by IT’ apps, including new Microsoft Edge, Teams, OneDrive, and possibly Microsoft 365 apps. (Some Microsoft 365 subscriptions include all of these, or each may have a license separately.)
Microsoft calls frontline workers, remote workers, and education users as good potential candidates for the Windows 10 cloud setup. As several Microsoft observers have noted, Microsoft needs a Easier, streamlined way to manage PCs, especially in education, if it intends to go head-to-head with Chrome OS and Chromebooks. With the first Windows 10X PCs expected to hit the market in the coming months – and the rollout of Microsoft’s Cloud PC virtualization service is expected to be imminent – now is a good time for Microsoft to give it a try (again a times) to master improve and streamline the management of Windows 10 PCs.
The Windows 10 cloud configuration overview and configuration guide is available.