Unless you have been totally off grid the last few days you probably noticed a ton of new information on Endpoint Management from Microsoft, more specifically from the Microsoft Technical Takeoff event that has been running this week.
The Microsoft Technical Takeoff event was combination of about live AMA (Ask Microsoft Anything) sessions and pre-recorded presentations and demos that were streamed on a schedule throughout the four days. The live AMA sessions are between 30-60 minutes, and each presentation or demo video is between 15-30 minutes long. During the stream, Microsoft staff and Tech Community members were posting questions/comments/answers under each topic. In addition to the 40-some preceding sessions, Microsoft also published a 3-hour long video with 24 additional bonus demos covering a range of topics (Security, Windows 11 22H2, Microsoft Edge, ConfigMgr, and more).
While many of the presentations and demos were a bit too high-level for my taste, the topics are well presented, well produced, and there is indeed some deeper technical info to be found if you pay attention and watch the full videos. I found a lot of value from viewing these sessions, and I think you will too. Don't forget to read the comments too, many of them contain absolutely great information.
If anyone from Microsoft is reading this: Thank you for organizing the event!
Top #1 Session
My favorite session from the whole week, no doubt, was the Cloud attach vs. cloud only: the debate session presented by Steve Thomas, Santos Martinez, Aria Carley, Rachelle Blanchard from Microsoft, as well as Microsoft MVP Jóhannes Geir Kristjánsson from Verkís Consulting Engineers. While I don't necessarily agree with all answers provided, I highly recommend watching it, and also to read through the 200+ questions/comments that were posted during the live session.
You find the recording and Q&A here: Unpacking endpoint management: cloud attach vs. cloud only – the debate | Microsoft Technical Takeoff
Top #2 – #5 Sessions
The following presentations made top 2-5 list and are definitively worth watching.
Windows Autopilot: Notes from the field
This session is targeted for admins that are already using Autopilot and was presented by Herman Arnedo Mahr and Cristina Osorio Valenzuela from Microsoft. The session gives you a good overview of the process flow within Windows Autopilot, it covers common issues customers are running into, as well as improvements that have been made recently to address those issues.
You find the recording and Q&A here: Windows Autopilot: notes from the field | Microsoft Technical Takeoff
The Store of the future
As the name implies, this session is a roadmap for what you can expect in the near future from the new Microsoft store and its integration with Windows Package Manager. Including support for both UWP and Win32 apps, and integration with Microsoft Intune. The session was presented by Mandar Chen and Roy MacLachlan from Microsoft, and it also gives some insight into why the current Microsoft Store for Business is being deprecated.
You find the recording and Q&A here: The Store of the future | Microsoft Technical Takeoff
Grouping, targeting, and filters: recommendations in Microsoft Intune
This session gives you a good introduction to Azure AD groups, and how they are used in Microsoft Intune together with filters for targeting of applications and policies. You also learn about upcoming features in this area. The session was presented by Daisuke Takabe, Lakshmi Leeladhar, and Pallavi_Joshi from Microsoft, and also contains a great section on best practices for how to use groups for improved performance in Intune.
You find the recording and Q&A here: Grouping, targeting, and filters: recommendations in Microsoft Intune | Microsoft Technical Takeoff
Windows Update for Business deployment service + Intune: the latest and greatest
This session gives you a good introduction to configuring the various update policies in Intune. This session was presented by David Guyer from Microsoft. A great link shared in the session was the https://aka.ms/SetThesePolicies post from Aria Carley, which covers recommended Windows Update policies settings, and also why they are recommended. While this session also covers some reporting capabilities, there was another session focusing on reporting only. Please note that some cloud managed capabilities like expedite updates, and the upcoming driver and firmware policies requires additional licensing. Just having an Intune license is not enough. You can learn more about the license requirements here: Use Intune to expedite Windows quality updates | Microsoft Learn
You find the recording and Q&A here: Windows Update for Business deployment service + Intune | Microsoft Technical Takeoff
I agree the Takeoff sessions were significantly better than Ignite this year.
For anyone trying to build a business case for Windows 11, I would highly recommend the session on "Securing corporate credentials with Enhanced Phishing Protection". This is a really great new feature that I learned is more robust than I originally thought.