Working as an Intune consultant requires access to both virtual machines and physical hardware. If you have ongoing contracts invoicing more than 50 hours per month, your customers should ship and pay for the hardware. However, if you have many smaller customers that wouldn’t make sense.
Hyper-V and virtual machines is a great way to get started, however lacks support for Bitlocker, Firmware, Windows Hello, Autopilot self-deploying mode, re-provisioning and Windows 365 Boot.
To be able to test and support all aspects of Microsoft Intune, including the new Driver Updates feature you need to purchase physical devices as well. All my families devices are managed by Intune. Currently I have free Office 365 E3 licenses as part of the Microsoft MVP program, but you can start for free.
Join the Microsoft 365 Developer Program for free. Don’t worry about the 90 day trial, simply request and integrate Patch My PC NFR and it will renew forever. In case you need Windows Client and Server licenses you can sign up for the Microsoft Action Pack at $500/year which includes the above + $100 of Azure Credits per month. That would require a company, but you can open a LLC including a bank account for $500 via Stripe Atlas and Mercury.
Around Black Friday I started researching the prices here in Brazil and ended up purchasing a Lenovo ThinkCentre M920q Tiny. The devices came with Intel I5 8GB 256GB NVMe and Windows 10 which I instantly upgraded to 16GB of memory and a better Bluetooth and Wi-Fi adapter for the total cost of $350.
The device have been running flawlessly together with Windows Sandbox which is my preferred solution for Intune application packaging. If you’re lucky enough to be living in the US you’ll find a lot of great deals on eBay.