Windows Autopilot Support for HoloLens 2 Now Commercially Available
Microsoft last Friday announced the "general availability" commercial release of Windows Autopilot for use with HoloLens 2.
HoloLens 2 is Microsoft's mixed reality headset. It began shipping more than a year ago. Windows Autopilot, on the other hand, has been around for about four years, mostly adding support for self-provisioning new PCs by end users.
Under the Windows Autopilot partner program, new devices get shipped directly to end users from equipment makers. End users just turn on the devices and enter their log-in credentials, and the provisioning of the desktop, apps and settings happens automatically.
Microsoft had previewed the use of Windows Autopilot to provision HoloLens 2 headsets back in November, but now it's considered good for commercial use. Organizations can work with their Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider partner to register HoloLens 2 devices for use with the Windows Autopilot service.
The Admin Center in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager product is used to set up Windows Autopilot deployment profiles for HoloLens 2 devices. Microsoft Endpoint Manager is also used to set up the actual "out-of-box" provisioning experience that end users will see when they first turn on a HoloLens 2 device.
The scheme to enable Self-Deploying Mode with HoloLens 2 devices, which joins the devices to the Azure Active Directory service, seems to depend on the use of the Microsoft Intune mobile device management service. Microsoft indicated in this "Windows Autopilot for HoloLens 2" document that "3rd party MDMs are not supported."
In other HoloLens news, Microsoft announced last week that the ability to use Dynamics 365 Guides with Azure Object Anchors is currently at the preview stage. With this capability, organizations can overlay holographic elements (such as guides) on top of physical objects, which get mapped using the Azure Object Anchors service. Organizations might want to add such guides so that workers can use various industrial machines, for instance.
In recent years, Microsoft has generally marketed HoloLens as an industrial tool or as a learning tool for field workers. Microsoft often bundles HoloLens device sales with various software add-ons. Dynamics 365 Guides is one of those add-ons. Another is Dynamics 365 Layout, which is used to plan physical spaces, such as building floor layouts.
Various Azure services also work with HoloLens. In addition to the Azure Spatial Anchors service, Microsoft has an Azure Remote Renderings add-on, which is used to display high-quality three-dimensional models of objects, such as truck engines.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.