White Glove Windows 10 Devices in Education With AutoPilot

I’ve written previously about solutions for streamlining the deployment of Windows 10 in Education using AutoPilot – check it out here. Today I saw that there is now a dedicated White Glove experience using AutoPilot that offers further improvements in this space and leverages new functionality available in Windows 10 1903:

You can read the full documentation on how to configure this here.

How Does It Work?

The idea behind the White Glove service is that IT Partners can add value by pre-loading the larger applications and device configuration settings before the device ends up in the hands of the user. From an education context, think of this in terms of a reseller adding value by provisioning the school’s preferred applications and settings on the device before shipping it to the student or teacher, who then complete the configuration by entering their AzureAD credentials. Visually, it’s like this:


With Windows Autopilot for White Glove deployment, the provisioning process is split. The time-consuming portions are performed by IT, partners, or OEMs. The end user simply completes a few necessary settings and polices and then they can begin using their device.

What’s Required?

There are some pre-requisites that will mean this is not suitable for every deployment at this stage. Note:

In addition to Windows Autopilot requirements, Windows Autopilot for White Glove deployment adds the following:

  • Windows 10, version 1903 or later is required.
  • An Intune subscription.
  • Physical devices that support TPM 2.0 and device attestation; virtual machines are not supported. The White Glove provisioning process leverages Windows Autopilot self-deploying capabilities, hence the TPM 2.0 requirements.
  • Physical devices with Ethernet connectivity; Wi-fi connectivity is not supported due to the requirement to choose a language, locale, and keyboard to make that Wi-fi connection; doing that in a pre-provisioning process could prevent the user from choosing their own language, locale, and keyboard when they receive the device.

I actually came across this earlier today when working with a partner who was interested in AutoPilot and I saw the “new” (to me) White Glove option:


There are also two stages to the deployment in this technique and again, I encourage you to read the full documentation here, but essentially:


The option inside of Intune when configuring an AutoPilot profile for White Glove installations.

There are also two stages to the deployment in this technique and again, I encourage you to read the full documentation here, but essentially:

  • The Technician: configures AutoPilot settings inside of Intune to deliver the correct applications and settings to the device and then boots a 1903 OS installed Win10 device and hits the “Windows Key” 5x to launch the White Glove menu which kickcs off the AutoPilot deployment. Note: the device must be connected via an ethernet internet connection (Wifi will not suffice). At the completion of the setup, AutoPilot will display a QR code allowing the technician to make any change sif required (e.g. assigning the device to a different user at the last minute – an app is provided on GitHub to support this). Once this is completed, the device is re-boxed and shipped to the end user.
  • The End User (Student/Teacher):  After un-packaging the device, they choose their locale and connect the device to a Wifi network at which point they will be presented with a company/school branded screen and, if assigned to them specifically, their username pre-populated and simply requesting their password. Once this is entered, any final configuration is completed but generally at a far quicker speed than deploying all large apps that were taken care of by the White Glove experience with AutoPilot.

My Thoughts:

This is a pretty cool way of deploying devices and allows opportunities for the OEM/Reseller to add value to the delivery chain by pre-configuring devices with the necessary applications to start school, along with the prerequisite network settings so the device simply connects once on the school grounds.

At this stage, with 1903 still relatively new, not every device is going to be suitable for this option but I can see this becoming more mainstream over the coming twelve months. Whether it be a school wanting to easily deploy and drop ship new teacher laptops to them, or using a partner who can pre-provision Windows 10 for student BYOD device use, this method will certainly allow new options to deliver a stellar experience.

I am always keen to discuss what I've written and hear your ideas so leave a reply here...

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