Microsoft Copilot introduces a seamless collaborative experience within popular Microsoft applications like Teams, Word, PowerPoint, Teams, Excel, and Outlook. To ensure your organization’s devices are ready for Copilot, follow this post to prepare your devices now with Intune.
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Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 merges the capabilities of large language models (LLMs) with your organization’s data seamlessly within your work processes. This integration transforms your words into an exceptionally potent productivity tool. You can chat with Copilot to get intelligent assistance, enhance your creativity, and boost your productivity. Copilot can also generate content such as code, poems, stories, and more, based on your prompts and preferences. Copilot will be your everyday AI companion for work and play.
There is a lot of information available about the prerequisites you need to do to secure your data for Microsoft Copilot, but not much information pointing to how you can prepare your endpoints for Copilot.
In this post, I want to dive into how we can meet the technical prerequisites for using Microsoft Copilot on the endpoints. The prerequisites for running Microsoft Copilot are available from Microsoft. In this post, I will guide you through how your devices can meet these with the help of Microsoft Intune.
Prepare your Devices Now With Intune
The information below will assist you in getting your devices ready for Microsoft Copilot through Microsoft Intune.
1. Microsoft Entra ID Account
Users must have Microsoft Entra ID (formerly Azure Active Directory) accounts. These can be cloud-native accounts or synced from your on-premises Active Directory. Read my previous post on supercharging your Entra ID user data to unlock the Copilot advantages.
2. License Requirements
Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 users require a license for Microsoft 365 E3 or Microsoft 365 E5, and a license for Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365. A licensed Entra ID account will also be a general prerequisite for Intune.
3. Microsoft 365 Apps
To seamlessly integrate Copilot with Microsoft 365, it’s essential to have the foundational Office productivity apps, like Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams. The latest version of Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise should be installed on all employee devices. The local installation of Office apps ensures a seamless and tightly integrated experience. These applications are used to connect with Office 365 services like SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and Teams. Copilot can now suggest content edits directly within Word documents.
There are several ways of publishing this package using Microsoft Intune. My preferred way for pushing this to Windows devices is a solution developed by my manager and mentor, MVP Jan Ketil Skanke. You can find his routing for installing Microsoft 365 Apps as a Win32 app through Intune on the MSEndpointMgr website.
You can use the Office Deployment Tool found in the Microsoft 365 Apps admin center to create the XML file used in Jan Ketil’s routine. There you can also select the update channel, where the “Current Channel” should be good for Copilot. This will provide your users with new Office features as soon as they are ready.
- Copilot in Microsoft Teams help & learning
- Copilot in Word help & learning
- Copilot in Excel help & learning
- Copilot in PowerPoint help & learning
4. OneDrive for Business Setup
Intune should configure all devices to enable OneDrive for Business setup to support certain Microsoft Copilot features in Microsoft 365. Every user has a 1-TB OneDrive account through their license, and by using Intune, we ensure OneDrive for Business is configured correctly on each device.
One example configuration using the Settings Catalog for Windows might look like this:
A similar configuration for macOS may be like this:
This policy will silently sign in the user to OneDrive for Business, do the known-folder move, use OneDrive files on-demand, and some other best practices related to OneDrice for Business. Importantly it will also do sync health reporting for OneDrive, which in turn will give you a OneDrive Sync app health status review.
5. Microsoft Outlook
To benefit from Copilot for Microsoft 365’s interactive suggestions within Outlook emails, you must use the new Outlook (for Windows and Mac), currently in preview. Users can switch to the new Outlook by selecting “Try the new Outlook” in their existing Outlook client.
As long as you are running an updated version of Microsoft Outlook, and you are not doing any active operations for disabling the new Outlook experience (as described by Peter Klapwijk in his blog post), you should be good to go.
6. Windows 11
For optimal performance with Copilot for Microsoft 365, Windows 11 delivers the finest user experience. Although using Windows 11 isn’t mandatory for Copilot in Microsoft 365, organizations are advised to contemplate upgrading eligible devices to Windows 11 to unlock the complete functionality of Copilot in Microsoft 365.
A Windows Feature update policy can be configured to ensure eligible devices are running the current Windows 11 build.
There was recently a new option made available to simplify your Windows 11 upgrade using Intune.
You could also look into Windows Autopatch to ensure Windows, Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise, Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Teams updates to improve security and productivity across your organization.
Copilot in Windows 11 is available as a preview in selected global markets with additional markets being added over time. Copilot in Windows offers AI assistance directly from the desktop through a sidebar. It aids users in Windows tasks and can differ from the browser-based Copilot in Edge. Both share the same chat provider platform, so configuring it is crucial to prevent users from pasting sensitive information.
You can test it with the following command:
More info available here: Manage Copilot in Windows – Windows Client Management
7. Microsoft Loop and Microsoft Whiteboard
To use Microsoft Loop and Microsoft Whiteboard with Microsoft Copilot, these services must be enabled in your tenant from the Microsoft 365 Admin Center.
You can use Microsoft Intune to distribute these applications to the Windows endpoints from the new Microsoft Store.
As a company rolling out Copilot for Microsoft 365, Microsoft Intune plays a key role in ensuring all devices are up-to-date, correctly and securely configured. By using Microsoft Intune, your organization can seamlessly prepare devices for Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365, enhancing collaboration and productivity across various Microsoft applications.