Windows 8.1, USER TEMPLATE - Employee Attrition

Microsoft's push to migrate Windows users to cloud services in Windows 8/8.1 has negatively impacted my productivity as an IT admin.

I worked more efficiently when I could robocopy entire user profiles in previous versions of Windows.

How can I work more efficiently to archive old users and deploy new users? (Scenario below)

I have a fleet of identical Windows 8.1 laptops.
Not all laptops are used for dedicated employee profiles, some laptops are used for guests. Sometimes a laptop is simply deployed to display image galleries or motion video. We have a variety of permanent and temporary configurations.
I maintain Acronis images for the laptops.

I need one solution for managing user profiles. Currently that solution is still local to the computer.

Thanks to the success of cloud applications we are no longer on an internal domain.

My laptop disk image contains an employee profile, local to the computer. It's pre-configured. My employer requires uniform user profiles for employees with pre-configured: desktop background, installed browsers, installed printers, web links etc.

Every time an employee leaves I physically migrate their local data to an external USB hard disk.

I re-image the checked-in computer for the next employee. I re-name the employee profile to the new employee.

If old files must go to the replacement employee then I'll manually migrate from the external USB disk.

I was looking for ways to streamline this process. USMT seems to work between environments, but not necessarily between two profiles on the same Windows 8.1 computer. (Just fly in the fresh employee profile from a disk, instead of reimaging)

Does Microsoft online authentication offer any ways to streamline the process?  I'm asking on many different levels. I've used OneDrive, but I still end up copying files locally. Exchange still requires local PST files. I'm not entirely certain what Microsoft is offering.

Incidentally, I've had the same questions about Google Apps for Business, but for this question I'd like to stick to Microsoft. Thanks,

KENGREG
kengregAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I use a local user name, not a Microsoft Account for Windows 8.1 and I do not use One Drive. So my Windows 8.1 machine works very much like Windows 7 in every respect.

I cannot answer your many questions and conclusions above, but if you wish to work in a traditional way, you can. You are not obligated to a cloud methodology.

See my article on effective ways to use Windows 8.1

http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/16620/Ways-to-improve-Windows-8.html

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kengregAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the article. The content doesn't address my exact questions, but it goes a long way to put Windows 8.1 in context.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@kengreg  - Thanks for the update and I was happy to help to the extent I was able to.
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