We are here at Microsoft Ignite this week in Orlando, Florida along with almost 25,000 attendees to hear the latest from Microsoft on the productivity, cloud, machine learning, and AI fronts.

Here is a snapshot of the big news announcements which began the week during the main keynote led by Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella.

What Was Announced

Microsoft 365 Powered Devices - In a partnership with HP, Lenovo, and Fujitsu a new range of commercial devices will be available. These devices will start at a price point of $275 and will run Windows 10 S as part of the Microsoft 365 package they will ship with.

Why It's Important - When Windows 10 S was announced back in May of the year its claim to fame was its secure profile because it can only install apps from the Windows Store. That means it is more streamlined and secure because unauthorized software can not be executed on the device. This includes possible drive by downloads while a user is browsing the web and other malicious software delivery scenarios. The Microsoft 365 subscription will use the Office 365 suite of software that has been converted using the Desktop Bridge to bring them into the Windows Store.

These inexpensive devices also make great platforms for shared devices for Firstline Workers to use in order to take advantage of the collaboration tools in Microsoft 365.

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Windows AutoPilot - In January of next year Lenovo and HP will join Microsoft's Surface hardware line to support Windows AutoPilot. This service allows your IT department to ship a device to a remote worker without any pre-configuration necessary. By using a device ID/serial number, that device will be provisioned for your corporate netork and the employee via the cloud when they start up the hardware out of th ebox.

Why It's Important - Imaging and configuring hardware for employees is a time consuming task. Windows AutoPilot can be used to configure devices for remote workers without IT ever having to touch the hardware. It can be ordered and shipped directly from the manufacturer to the employee. When they fire up the device it connects to the cloud and gets its configuration and account information securely over the Internet. This type of hands free deployment could also be done from building to building on the same campus and free up your IT staff to focus on other support requirements. The partnership with HP and Lenovo helps by providing verified hardware compatibility so no issues are experienced when the device is delievered and setup.

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Stay tuned all week as we bring you on site coverage of Microsoft Ignite.