Windows 10 Kiosk Mode: A Look at Emerging Trends, Benefits, and Challenges

  • February 6, 2019

As enterprises become more mobile for maximum productivity and flexibility for employees, they use Windows 10 kiosk mode in corporate-owned devices to leverage their features for:

  • Streamlining business processes.
  • Improving productivity by limiting app or software installations that consume more resources or distract users.
  • Restricting access to other system resources and connecting to unsecured websites to protect business data.
Windows 10 Kiosk Mode

What is Windows 10 Kiosk Mode?

Windows 10 Kiosk mode is a feature that allows organizations to lock down corporate-owned devices including desktops, laptops, and tablets to manage the user experience and activities by enforcing application and browsing limitations.

Kiosks provide a self-serving environment, with a defined service to the user. The user does not own the kiosk and hence is not responsible for how it functions. Often, the kiosk mode on mobile devices is set up in corporate environments to prevent access to extraneous features and enable only essential features. This facilitates a focused and seamless work setup for employees with minimal access to the underlying device settings, file system, etc.

Windows 10 supports Windows kiosk mode on PCs and mobile devices through its Assigned Access and Enterprise Assigned Access features. The device signs in automatically and runs a Microsoft App in full screen in a restricted user account. It also limits the user access to other apps, device functions, or settings.

Related Content:

How to Set up Kiosk Mode for Windows 10?
How to Lockdown Windows 10 Devices in Multi-App Kiosk Mode?
How to Leverage Windows 10 Single App Kiosk Mode for Business?
How to Allow Only One Website in Windows 10?
How to Secure your Workstation with Kiosk Lockdown Software?
What is Windows Kiosk Mode? – A Fundamental Elaboration

Advantages of Windows 10 Kiosk Mode

Windows kiosk mode locks down applications on Windows-based devices for using it for a specific task or deploying it in a public domain.

Kiosk Mode Offers Several Benefits:

  • A secure, tamper-proof system for efficient asset management.
  • Amplify productivity by restricting usage to enterprise or single application use.
  • MDM solutions can help run kiosk devices for dedicated services.
  • Reduced maintenance efforts and support costs.
  • Customized setup for specific enterprise needs with the option of:
    –   Running single or multiple apps
    –   Creating and deploying configuration profiles for different users
  • Easy management of field employees from a single location.

Windows Kiosk Mode Challenges

There are certain challenges in the smooth functioning of a dedicated kiosk. Let’s look at some of them:

  • Public access kiosks can clear user data across sessions, but it can be difficult to identify when a user has left. As an example, It is possible to implement an inactivity timer in normal scenarios. However, it can cause problems if there is a queue of users and the next user begins using the kiosk before the timer expires.
  • Windows GUI sometimes pops dialogue boxes that may be unrelated to the application, which may confuse the user or serve as a security threat.
  • Issues like memory leaks, application crash, or unintended (accidental or malicious) shutdowns can lead to a longer outage. There is a plan to work on Windows Autopilot Reset to remotely manage the device and bring back the kiosk to a stable state.
  • Kiosk deployment requires significant user interaction. Although Microsoft is working on Windows Autopilot and device management support to simplify deployment.

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Trends in Windows 10 Kiosk Mode

In 2020, Microsoft added new capabilities to Windows 10 Kiosk Mode:

  • Extending the Assigned Access capabilities to deploy and manage access for single or multiple apps.
  • Kiosk Browser for a reliable and customized browsing experience. It can be configured to a default URL without a UI and automatically clears user data between sessions.
  • Protection and vetted deployment through Windows 10 S.
  • Windows 10 S will become a preferred platform for Kiosks for it offers deferred and paused updates and BitLocker for device protection.
  • Enabling IT to improve the end-user experience by providing policies for 24/7 power settings, keyboard configuration, etc.

Upcoming plans for kiosk enhancements that will inspire future trends are:

  • Multiple screen support.
  • MDM configuration setup and enforcement prior to launching Kiosk mode.
  • Restore or auto-configure/login after reboot.
  • Define different access configurations for multiple users.

Kiosk mode gives limited control to the user, which makes it easier to manage and secure devices, ensuring these devices run consistently and seamlessly for their intended purpose. Though there are a few challenges that can be addressed using a Scalefusion Windows 10 device management solution for these dedicated devices.

Thousands of businesses rely upon Scalefusion for managing their mobile device, desktops, laptops and other endpoints

Vandita is a passionate writer and IT enthusiast. By profession, she is a Computer Lecturer at the University of Delhi and has previously worked as a Software Engineer with Aricent Technologies.
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