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Upgrade Windows Phone 8.1 Fleet to Windows 10 Mobile with Microsoft Intune ‘All At Once’

So you want to upgrade your Windows Phone 8.1 fleet to Windows 10 Mobile? Microsoft just earlier in the day release an update to Windows 10 Mobile, but the update not anyways releated to Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update.

It’s not a secret that Windows Phone share keeps dropping, and that Microsoft is believed to be shifiting its focus exclusively on a potential flagship ‘Surface Phone’ device.

But, that certainly not means, that Microsoft is giving up on Windows 10 Mobile, “We always take care of our customers, Windows phones are no exception. We will continue to update and support our current Lumia and OEM partner phones, and develop great new devices,” head of the Windows OSG, Terry Myerson said earlier this year.

Move over, the company has povided a step-by-step guide for faster upgradation of an entire Windows Phone 8.1 devices fleet to Windows 10 Mobile using Microsoft Intune rather than doing it individually for each phone.

Please note, the guide is Microsoft Intune specific, and those of you who are using SCCM as your Mobile Device Management Authority in Hybrid mode, should check out this post.

Also, before you move on with upgradation, please make sure your phones are capable of running Windows 10.

The list of supported devices is here or you can install the Upgrade Advisor App on a test phone to determine if an upgrade will be possible.

In additon, also connect you phones to Wi-Fi or mobile data, and make your phones sufficiently charged.

Custom Configuration Template Windows Phone 8.1 and Later

Intune Standalone textual steps represented from MSDN blog:

  • Log into the Intune management portal (manage.microsoft.com)
  • Create a new Policy (Policies > Configuration Policies > Add)
  • Under templates, Choose the Windows > Custom Configuration (Windows Phone 8.1 and Later)
  • Give your policy a descriptive name
  • Configure the OMA-URI Settings:
    OMA-URI: ./Vendor/MSFT/Registry/HKLM/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Provisioning/OMADM/EnterpriseUpgrade
    Data Type: String
    Value: d369c9b6-2379-466d-9162-afc53361e3c2
  • Double-check the settings, then save your policy
  • Deploy it to your Users or Devices
  • Finally, users will get a notification that the upgrade is ready to install.

    Windows 10 Phone Update Ready

The Surface Phone is expected to launch in the spring of 2017, most likely together with the Redstone 2 wave of Windows 10 update.

Also, in an email sent to the Windows Insiders selected to receive the latest Windows 10 Mobile kit package, the compnay asked to rate the 5 categories of apps from 1 to 5.

In addition, the Redmond also gave an option to state the app name as well as description and why it should be on the Continuum and Windows 10 Mobile.

The 5 categories offered: “Apps for productivity at work, Apps for productivity at home, Apps for entertainment, Apps for social media, and Games for Continuum.”

For those who are not familiar what Continuum is,

Following Microsoft’s Build annual developer conference in April, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella gave an interesting interview to Business Insider where he addressed the value proposition of Windows 10 Mobile in a market clearly dominated by iOS and Android:

What is unique about our phones is this Continuum feature. If anything we will want to continue to build that capability out.

Introduce in the last fall with flagship Lumia 950 and 950XL smartphones, Continuum is a pretty impressive new feature that turn these devices into a lightweight PC that can run universal Windows 10 apps in full-screen mode.

The feature connects these Windows 10 Mobile phones to an external monitor at 1080p 60Hz via HDMI and display port with mouse and keyboard support, either via Wi-Fi or via a wired connection through a dock.

Additionally, a Windows 10 Mobile phone remains entirely usable while it powers a second screen in Continuum.

For now, legacy Win32 apps are currently not supported.

Microsoft at the 2016 //BUILD, dedicated a session to Continuum, where they highlighted a few upcoming features.

  • Casting a Windows 10 Mobile device screen to a Windows 10 PC in a window or full screen
  • Highlights of using the Remote Desktop and Azure Remote apps through Continuum to run full Win32 apps on a phone
  • Support for the Xbox One controller in Continuum

Infact, Microsoft planned it to be called ‘Modern Glass’. In a company briefing, “Continuum: evolving the mobile experience”, software engineer for Windows, Abolade Gbadegesin discusses how Modern Glass a.k.a Project Wizard/Tinman was developed with challenges takled such as:

Platform features missing on mobile, e.g. USB host, drivers
Inappropriate platforms & UX behavior, e.g. back stack, multi-tasking
Adapting existing apps with minimal changes
Battery life

You can read more here.

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