Windows 10 April 2018 -- what's new for IT pros?

Windows 10 superhero

As the keenly awaited Windows 10 April 2018 update (Windows 10 1803) begins its roll out, IT professionals will be interested to see what features it offers them.

Among the developments of interest to professionals is the Windows Autopilot feature which offers cloud powered device management. Using Intune, Autopilot now allows the device to be locked during provisioning until policies and settings for the device get provisioned, ensuring that by the time the user gets to the desktop, the device is secured and configured correctly.

Autopilot is available on Surface, Lenovo, and Dell devices, with other OEMs coming onboard in the next few months. Admins can now also run their own custom scripts in parallel with Windows setup, making rolling out machines easier.

Windows 10 S mode is now available to deploy for enterprise customers. This can be done by starting with Windows 10 Pro in S mode and then activating Windows 10 Enterprise on the computer. You can switch out of S mode free of charge, but once out you can't go back.

Kiosk deployments are made easier with a Kiosk Browser, available from the Microsoft store. This can be used to set allowed URLs and disable navigation buttons. Intune can be used to manage kiosk devices as well as handling multiple screens for digital signage applications. There’s a simplified process for creating and configuring an auto-logon kiosk account so that a public kiosk automatically enters a desired state after a reboot, enhancing security for public-facing uses.

A new SetupDiag command line tool helps administrators work out why Windows 10 updates have failed. This uses a rules file to check setup logs and find known issues. Windows Update for Business also provides greater control, with the ability to pause and uninstall problem updates using Intune.

Admins can also configure the amount of time users are allowed to roll back a Windows 10 update. Inherited Activation allows Windows 10 virtual machines to inherit the activation state from their Windows 10 host.

Windows Hello is enhanced too and now supports FIDO 2.0 authentication for Azure AD Joined Windows 10. There are also improved options for activating Hello from the Lock screen without having to dive into the settings.

Other security changes include enhancements to Windows Defender Antivirus, Exploit Guide and ATP. Code integrity is also being re-branded as Windows Defender Application Control, plus Windows Information Protection streamlines file encryption.

Finally, improved analytics include the ability to assess upgrade readiness as well as device health. Delivery optimization is added to Update Compliance to monitor the bandwidth consumption of Windows updates.

You can find out about the features in more detail on the Microsoft website and there's a short video summary below.

Photo credit: Rangizzz/ Depositphotos

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