Microsoft Desktop Analytics was initially unveiled at Microsoft Ignite 2018, we could only get a preview in July 2019. Desktop Analytics is part of Microsoft’s EMS, it is a cloud service that is expected to integrate with SCCM and (eventually) Microsoft Intune. The service will offer admins’ a dashboard where they can manage their inventory and monitor applications and devices active within an organization.

The Desktop Analytics dashboard can be accessed through Azure, where admins can perform tasks such as creating pilot groups for testing updates, deploying Windows 10 to manage devices, reviewing and identifying app compatibility issues with Windows 10 updates, and creating a unified inventory for the complete organization.

The functionalities provided by Desktop Analytics (such as device health, update compliance, and upgrade readiness and other additional facilities for Windows 10) are expected to replace Windows Analytics. This shift, however, will have to be staggered until Desktop Analytics is generally available for all users. Device Health will enable admins to determine what devices and devices drivers are crashing and suggest alternative driver options. Desktop Analytics will also be able to identify Windows Information Protection misconfigurations and inform admins with regard to which versions of Windows every device is running on and offer threat a threat analysis based on Windows Defender.

Here is a handy list of what companies need to be able to make the shift to Desktop Analytics:

1. ConfigMgr version 1902 and an admin with full Administrator role

2. Devices running Win 7, 8.1, or 10 and ConfigMgr client 1902

3. Windows Enterprise, Education, or VDA License

4. Office 365 subscription

5. Azure subscription with Global Admin permission

Companies can convert their Windows Analytics workspace using the Desktop Analytics introduction wizard. However, it will still require the admin to go through the ConfigMgr console for the device enrollment wizard. Other important aspects to take into consideration with Desktop Analytics is that it doesn’t support businesses upgrading to Windows 10 long-term servicing channel and that it is being designed for “in-place-upgrades” not for major changes such as a shift from 32-bit to 64-bit architecture.