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Deploy Windows 11 (Preview) with Intune and Endpoint Manager

I am very sure you’ve already heard it – Microsoft is going to release Windows 11 soon. That was one of the breaking news some weeks ago on June 24. Of course on of the most burning questions is: HOW CAN I INSTALL IT ON MY PC?!? In this article, I show you how to do that when you have a Microsoft 365 subscription that contains Intune / Endpoint Manager.

Intune & Endpoint Manager is designed for company use to be able to managed the devices centrally in the cloud. When announcing, Microsoft said that Windows 11 will be an Update! See here for more details: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11. Update means, you are able to roll out Windows 11 with Windows Update for Business (that you should use in any case when using Endpoint Manger). Having an Intune managed device, you are not able to join the Windows Insider Rings for operating system updates.

First you need to sign up your company. Go to https://insider.windows.com/en-us/register. That opens the Windows Insider for Business store. Here you need to sign up with a Global Administrator to enable your company for the update. Accept the terms (of course) and that you are aware that you are about to roll out a BETA, that may have bugs and is not stable. For that reason, it is not recommended to use it productive. It is important to register for the update, because if you don’t you will not receive the Windows 11 update bits, but only the other Windows 10 Insider update bits.

After registrating, you are done here and can switch over to Endpoint Manager: https://endpoint.microsoft.com. Navigate to Devices > Windows > Windows 10 update rings and make sure you have an update ring for Insider Fast:

As you see, I’ve left out the number “11” in the title. That is because there was an announcement some years ago “Windows 10 will be the last Windows” – and now we get Windows 11. Okay Windows 11 is still a Windows 10 under the hood, but I don’t want to deal with version numbers all 2 oder 3 years, so I just skip the numbers and I have less work. But back to topic:

If you do not have such a profile, create one. You must configure the ring to Insider Fast (magenta in the following screenshot) and I personally recommend to offer the chance for rollback to Windows 10 for 60 days (yellow in the screenshot) – don’t forget: it is a BETA and can be instable! So have a Plan B.

All other settings are not important for the update itself and can be configured to fit your organization. Don’t forget to assign the profile to you and the users that should get Windows 11 😉

Well and that’s it! Nothing more to do now. Just wait. In my case it took 2 hours until my devices (yes, devices – I’ve installed it on multiple devices including my test devices and those of my colleagues) saw the update. After being patient, Windows Update showed the update and started the installation:

The installation itself took between 20 minutes (current Dell Inspiron) and 2 hours (7 years old Dell Latitude), including several restarts. Just a normal installation process of Windows.

As of now, I love Windows 11. Despite BETA, I am using it productive. I work 99.9% in the cloud, I have spare software installed (password manager, Spotify and Photoshop Express). Yep, a real cloud workspace (ooooh yessss I am so amazed, thrilled and waiting so much for Windows365… be sure, more blog articles will follow 😉 ). After some days I had only 1 crash (luckily I am in the cloud, so no data loss), no bluescreen (I miss the good old times *kidding*). Windows 11 is running really great. The only thing that is currently not working is the keyboard backlight on one of my laptops. I spent no time to investigate why. All devices report no driver issues, all periphery works (24″ display, 49″ display, Thunderbolt devices, Bluetooth devices, USB devices). Many people (including me) think it looks a little like macOS, but in my opinion that is nothing bad. Look at the clean task bar:

The system tray icons are re-organized (the re-organize makes so much sense):

The control panel is much more powerful than with Windows 10 and looks clean and structured. All PCs are running Windows 11 very well with good performance. I am excited how the next days and weeks will be with Windows 11. Of course be warned: If you use it productive and lose data, it is your own fault, Windows 11 is not officially released yet! The official date is end of the year, there are some rumors that the release date will be November 11. We will see 🙂

Published by Andreas

Founder of M365 Evangelists Cloud-Architect, Strategy Consultant, Consultant for Microsoft technologies, Graph API enthusiast, PowerShell enthusiast

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