Microsoft pushes ‘within cloud’ settings selection to simplify PC management
This week offered corporate customers a fresh group of configuration settings that it said   microsoft;would create easier-to-manage PCs ideal for wide swaths of customers, which range from remote workers to learners who needed greater than a browser and a small number of productivity applications little.
Variously dubbed “within cloud” and “cloud config,” the assortment of settings was pitched in an effort to deploy standardized PCs equipped for the standard tasks: browsing the net, using Office and owning a limited amount of business line apps.
“Microsoft sees a chance to empower organizations by giving a recommended configuration of Home windows 10 for customers with focused workflow requirements,” Ravi Stan and Ashok Light, senior program manager and principal software engineer, respectively, wrote in a setup guide. “Windows 10 in cloud configuration assists IT standardize and simplify management for these users.”
Microsoft’s goals were then two-fold. First, provide IT administrators with ready-made and Microsoft-recommended settings that may be put on new or existing-but-waiting-to-be-reimaged PCs so the machines will be ideal for lower-rung information workers, front-line students and workers. Second, develop a standardized cadre of PCs to allow them to be managed by admins with the various tools they already have, or even more properly, have if their employers license specific Microsoft 365 plans. Prime the type of tools: Microsoft Endpoint Manager.
The in cloud/cloud config set is similar to other ready-to-deploy configuration settings that Microsoft offers customers, notably its various security baselines for Windows, Edge along with other products. Like those baselines, in cloud is free, though it cannot be utilized by all.
Windows 10 Pro, Education and enterprise PCs can apply in cloud, but the user should be covered by licenses for many Microsoft products, including:
- Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Premium P1
- Microsoft Intune
- Microsoft Teams
- OneDrive for Business
Microsoft recommended that “the smallest amount essential for cloud config” was Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 ($8.80 per user monthly) and Office 365 E3 ($20 per user monthly), and a tool running Windows 10 Pro.
A far more comprehensive license will be Microsoft 365 E3 ($32 per user monthly), which include Windows 10 Enterprise. Other packaged options range between Microsoft 365 F3 ($10 per user monthly) and Microsoft 365 Business Premium ($20 per user monthly), to Microsoft 365 E5 ($57 per user monthly).
The name of the settings collection both described the foundation because of this Microsoft-recommended default configuration and set its limits. The principal management tool for implementing in cloud is Intune, the cloud-native management platform that’s section of Microsoft Endpoint Manager. Also, the majority of what’s deployed by the configuration is cloud-based – online storage (OneDrive), authentication and identification (Azure AD) – even while important pieces aren’t (just like the Office apps, which remain installed locally).
But in cloud is, Microsoft said, suitable limited to users who don’t depend on on-premises services, which explains why important components, such as for example storage and email, comes from Office 365 or Microsoft 365 subscriptions. The perfect candidates for in cloud, in accordance with Microsoft, are users who “haven’t any dependency on on-premises infrastructure to reach your goals and productive within their role.”
From the gate, the in cloud settings should be configured manually because of it admins. (That is why the Ashok- and White-written setup guide is essential to implementing the configuration.)
Microsoft said it could improve in cloud with additional settings, or removing or modifying those present already, but, importantly, happens to be creating an Intune “guided scenario” which will assemble the equipment automatically.
More info about in cloud are available in several locations, including a new website (which boasted a brief FAQ), the setup guide and a blog post where Joe Lurie, a senior product manager for Microsoft 365, answered a number of important questions concerning the configuration.