Hang on, let me explain that in a just bit more detail, and maybe stop Mal from having a minor myocardial infarction! Last week, in Chicago, Microsoft held their premier technical conference Ignite. Ignite is a blend of TechEd, MMS and other technical events in a week long geek-fest! From the opening Keynote through to the last session on Friday afternoon Microsoft showcased where they were, and more importantly, where they are going. Mobile first, Cloud first, all week long. Tech Sessions, Breakouts, HOLs and ILLs (Hands On Labs and Instructor Led Labs – courtesy of Learn on Demand Systems), and of course the Expo Hall; a mass of innovative displays and demonstrations from a multitude of IT companies.
My role last week was to be an MCT Ambassador and to present a series of ILLs focused on the upcoming release of Windows 10, in particular how Microsoft’s customers will deploy and/or upgrade their current fleets. Just prior to Ignite, Microsoft also released their latest preview versions of Windows 10, along with the Windows 10 ADK (Assesment and Deployment Kit). Hidden inside the ADK is a little gem of an application called Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer (WinICD).
That brings me back to the (fictitious) $1500 my boss gave me. CYOD (Choose Your Own Device) is gathering momentum; allowing your staff to choose their own device, be it a laptop, tablet, phone or even a desktop to be used in the corporate environment. Fantastic idea, choose any device and any operating system, as long as it’s Windows. The issue, though, is that when you toddle off to Harvey Norman and buy your device, it will typically come with either the “Home” or “Professional” version of Windows 10 (looking forward to after July that is). That means the IT Department has to take your device and then put the Corporate image on there; usually taking at least a day to get everything working smoothly. A fair bit of time and effort.
This is where the WinICD comes into play. Using the Designer, your Corporate IT professional creates a provisioning package, turning your “Home” or “Professional” version of Windows into “Enterprise” and setting your new device up to work in the Corporate environment. Awesome! As you’ll see from the screen shots below, it’s a relatively simple wizard that steps you through the creation of the package. Take the package, put it onto a flash drive, or email it, then run the package to provision your shiny new device into the Corporate SOE/MOE.
After downloading the Windows 10 ADK, go to the Installers folder and find the “Imaging And Configuration Designer-x86_en-us.msi” and double click. Once the install finishes, start the WinICD and Create a New Provisioning Package, filling in the details and path.
Next, select your version; notice the option to also provision a Windows Phone! Love it!
Specify the path.
This is where all the magic happens. There is a huge list of settings here; from Applications, Drivers, Certificates and most importantly, Upgrading Edition Product Key. This is where that “Home” version turns into “Enterprise” by inserting the Product Key for the new SKU!
Name your package, add in version number, rank and Package Owner.
Next, setup security for the package, selecting a certificate at this point means no UAC prompt when running the package – as long as the certificate is trusted.
Specify the path.
Build the package.
Either using a flash drive, or some other means (floppy disk? <g>) double click the package and accept the UAC.
Watch and wait through the various restarts and adding features.
Finally, completed. You now have a device that has been reconfigured, provisioned and ready for your work environment. Now go ask your own boss for the money to purchase a CYOD, confident that it can easily be integrated into your corporate environment.
CCSE+, MSCE, MCT, MVP