What is next for Windows Intune

Posted by bink on June 4 2013, 10:10 PM.

With the next release of Windows Intune, organizations can benefit from greater depth in device management in several areas, including:

  • Giving people a consistent experience in discovering and installing corporate applications that IT has made available to them, across all of their managed devices
  • Publishing corporate apps and services across device types, regardless of whether they’re corporate-connected or cloud-based
  • Granting more granular control over device settings available to configure Windows, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, iOS, and Android devices to make them compliant with corporate policies
  • Wiping corporate applications, data, and policies from devices selectively when they are no longer managed by the organization

That selective wipe of corporate data doesn’t remove the files, but only removes the encryption key. This may be undesired behavior as filenames by itself may be sensitive too.

Also this month, Microsoft will add a cloud-based connector to Office 365 Hosted Exchange, making it easier for organizations to benefit from our cloud services in a cohesive manner. Now you need an on premise sync service running to connect your Office365 to Windows Intune, which is a bit strange for customers committing to cloud solutions.


Learn more about People-centric IT by downloading the People-centric IT Preview Guide

PowerShell 4.0: Desired State Configuration

Posted by bink on June 4 2013, 3:36 PM.

PowerShell 4.0 introduces Desired State Configuration. What is DSC?

  • Enables you to ensure that the components of your data center have the correct configuration
  • Allows “continuous deployment” and prevents “configuration drift”
  • Uses language extensions and providers to enable declarative, autonomous and idempotent (repeatable) Deployment, Configuration and Conformance of standards-based managed elements

How does this relate?

System Center Configuration Manager

A management solution with extensible features focused on configuring the Enterprise on-premise compute. By contrast PowerShell DSC is a platform technology focused on the Cloud (servers and standard-based devices) helping to bridge development and operations.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager

SCVMM is a fabric controller that manages hypervisors, network and storage; creating, managing and configuring VMs and Services.  SCVMM Service Model can call DSC during provisioning. SCVMM Service Model and the new Cloud OS Virtual Machine Role can leverage DSC for configuration.

Windows PowerShell

The automation language and platform for Windows and standards-based devices. Extensively leveraged across Windows, Microsoft and the industry.

• We are substantially increasing the Cloud OS capabilities of Windows Server by adding Desired State Configuration to the base platform via PowerShell.

• Overtime, just as with PowerShell original, we expect strong leverage of the platform, making a fully integrated, better together story.


Watch the TechED session on Channel 9

New in Exchange 2013 CU2: 100 databases per server support

Posted by bink on June 4 2013, 3:26 PM.

Besides the possible Windows Azure witness role as described in previous article, it is als announced at Teched that CU2 will enable 100 databases per Exchange Server Enterprise Edition. Also it was announced that a new DAG management service will be introduced which has the monitoring component moved into it. More details will follow.

Exchange 2013 CU2 might deliver witness server on Azure IaaS

Posted by bink on June 4 2013, 3:18 PM.

Just announced at Teched the CU2 update for Exchange 2013 will possibly deliver Windows Azure for witness server for site resilience scenarios.

Until now for an automated site failover a witness server in a third site (datacenter or other well connected network independent location) was required. For existing Azure customers it will be possible to host this witness role on Azure as well. This will be a VM (fileserver) running on IaaS on Windows Azure. It says possibly as testing and validation is still underway.

This scenario may not be ideal for every company as it will require extending internal Active Directory permissions into a public cloud.

For a high available witness server 2 VM’s in Azure are required.


More details will follow.

Download GeoFlow Preview for Excel 2013

Posted by bink on June 3 2013, 6:37 PM.

Project codename “GeoFlow” Preview for Excel 2013 allows you to plot geographic and temporal data visually, analyze that data in 3D, and create interactive tours to share with others. This preview gives you an early look into the new features that provide 3D data visualization for Excel and a powerful method for people to look at information in new ways, enabling discoveries in data that might never be seen in traditional 2D tables and charts.


  • Requires Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 or Office 365 ProPlus.
  • GeoFlow Preview for Excel supports 32-bit or 64-bit machines.
  • Requires Windows 8, Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 (requires Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0).

1. Download & Install Office 365 ProPlus.

2. Make sure Excel is not running.

3. Download & Install the Public Preview of project codename “GeoFlow” for Excel.

  • Open the folder where you downloaded “GeoFlow” Preview for Excel.
  • Double-click the downloaded installer file, and then follow the steps in the wizard.
  • After the installation is complete, click Finish.
  • Start Excel.
  • “Maps” will appear as a new item in the “Insert” tab of the Excel ribbon.

Get started using GeoFlow Preview for Excel by following the Getting Started Document.

Sample Datasets

BYOD scenarios will become a great experience in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2

Posted by bink on June 4 2013, 3:41 PM.

Networking features optimized for mobile productivity. Windows 8.1 improves mobile productivity for today’s workforce with new networking capabilities that take advantage of NFC-tagged and Wi-Fi connected devices, including:

  • NFC tap-to-pair printing– Tap your Windows 8.1 device against an enterprise NFC-enabled printer and you’re all set to print. No more hunting on your network for the correct printer and no need to buy a special printer; just attach a NFC tag to your existing machines. And you don’t need to buy new printers to take advantage of this; you can simply put an NFC tag on your existing printers to enable this functionality.
  • Wi-Fi Direct printing– Connect to Wi-Fi Direct printers without adding additional drivers or software on your Windows 8.1 device, forming a peer-to-peer network between your device and the printer.
  • Native Miracast wireless display– Present your work wirelessly without any dongles needed; simply project your content to a Miracast-enabled device by pairing the device through Bluetooth or NFC. Miracast will then use the available Wi-Fi connection to let you lean back and project wire-free.
  • Broadband tethering– Turn your Windows 8.1 mobile broadband-enabled PC or tablet into a personal Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing other devices to connect and access the internet.
  • Auto-triggered VPN – When you select an app or resource that needs access through the inbox VPN – like a company’s intranet site – Windows 8.1 will automatically prompt you to sign in with one click. This feature will be available with Microsoft and third-party inbox VPN clients.

Security enhancements for device proliferation and mobility.Security continues to be a top priority for companies across the world, so we’re making sure we continue to invest resources to help you protect your corporate data, applications and devices:

  • Modern Access Controls– Sign in and authenticate devices with new support for fingerprint-based biometrics. Multi-factor authentication using Virtual Smart Cards will also be made even easier in Windows 8.1.
  • Malware Resistance –Windows Defender, Microsoft’s free antivirus solution in Windows 8, will include network behavior monitoring to help detect and stop the execution of known and unknown malware. Internet Explorer will scan binary extensions (e.g. ActiveX) using the antimalware solution before potentially harmful code is executed.

Improved management solutions to make BYOD a reality. As BYOD scenarios continue to grow in popularity among businesses, Windows 8.1 will make managing mobile devices even easier for IT Pros:

  • Improved IT controls– IT departments can now control the layout of the Start screen on company-issued devices to ensure key apps are easily accessible. IT departments can also prevent users from customizing their start screen to ensure consistency across individual workgroups or the entire company.
  • Remote business data removal– Allows personal devices to connect to, access and store company content that can be efficiently removed from the device by IT at a later date while leaving the personal data intact.
  • Open MDM– With Windows 8.1, new Open Mobile Alliance Device Management (OMA-DM) capabilities are built into the OS and enable mobile device management using third-party MDM solutions, such as MobileIron or AirWatch, with no additional agent required. Enhanced policies allow administrators to manage more settings from both Windows Intune and the third-party MDM solutions for both Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1.
  • Workplace Join – Further control access to company data by ensuring that only registered and trusted devices are allowed to access secured enterprise data.

More control over business devices. Businesses can more effectively deliver an intended experience to their end users – whether that be employees or customers.

  • Assigned Access – Enable a single Windows Store application experience on the device (e.g. a learning application for a child, a customer service application at a boutique.) Enabling this feature turns on a predefined set of filters that blocks other actions so the user only experiences the specified application and is unable to access system files and other applications.
  • Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Our offering for Industry devices like POS Systems, ATMs, and Digital Signage that provides a broader set of device lockdown capabilities.

The preview of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 will be released June 26th.

What’s new for Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 R2

Posted by bink on June 3 2013, 6:55 PM.

What’s new for Hyper-V in Windows Sever 2012 R2

With the release of Windows Server 2012 R2 end of the year a lot of new features will be introduced, his post covers Hyper-V.


Generation 2 Virtual Machines

·         A VM with no “Legacy”

·         UEFI based
No emulated devices
Boots off virtual SCSI / network adapters
Supports Secure Boot

·         For now only supported guest OS’s are 64-bit Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 and later

·         VMs boots seconds faster, OS install much faster

(You will not be able cannot upgrade a Gen1 VM to Gen2 VM because of UFIE (new bootloader) and use of GPT partition and not MBR to boot.)



Enhanced VM interaction

·         Full remote desktop capabilities, even when the network is down!

·         Integrated into Hyper-V Management experience

·         Virtual machines are automatically activates when hosted on Window Server 2012 Datacenter edition

·         Zero touch activation of VMs for hosters / enterprises

·         Copy and paste rich text and graphics inside hyper-V console!

·         Video and audio over Hyper-V console

·         Copy/paste feature as PowerShell commandlet for non GUI guest

·         USB passthrough can be enabled (GPO) it is tied to "RDP" session of VM remote tool.


2x to 10x Faster Live Migration Zero downtime migration

·         Live migration VMs from Window Server 2012 to Win Server 2012 R2

·         Compression enables over 2x improvement in live migration time

·         SMB Direct support allows for high-speed live migrations over high-end networks (RDMA)


Online VHDX resize, Live VM export / clone

·         Increase and decrease the size of VHD while VM is live

·         Export VM while it is running

·         Export snapshot of a VM, while VM keeps running


Storage QoS

·         Can restrict disk throughput for overactive / disruptive VM

·         Dynamically configurable while VM is running




Hyper-V Replica

Extended replication, now add a second replica to add extra protection for your VM at offsite location or hoster


Finer grained control of replication, now choose 30 sec interval or 5 minutes (default) For other scenarios choose 15 minutes.

Windows Azure will support orchestration of recovery using Hyper-V DR replica’s and system center VMM on premise.


Update Rollups for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 are NOT cumulative

Posted by bink on May 17 2013, 3:29 PM.

If you pay attention to the updates Microsoft rolls out each month or take note of what Windows Updates are on your Windows 8 PC or Windows Server 2012 Server, you may have seen some monthly rollup updates.

These update rollups are not cumulative updates. You do need to apply each of the monthly update rollups to get the fixes and enhancements from each month. Installing the February 2013 Update Rollup does not get you the January 2013 to October 2012 rollup updates. This is to say, these rollups are independent of each other. Searching on the KB number will discuss what each rollup is addressing that month. Note that these updates do not focus on a particular component as we have seen with previous cumulative or rollup type updates but are broader to Windows.

Continue at source:

Update Rollups For Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Explained - Ask Premier Field Engineeri

Surface Pro firmware and driver pack

Posted by bink on May 17 2013, 3:22 PM.

    Cumulative firmware and drivers for the Surface Pro. This firmware and driver package contains drivers for all of the components in the Surface Pro device, as well as updates to the system firmware that have been released via Windows Update. These drivers and firmware are not compatible with Surface RT.

    Use these drivers and firmware to prepare your custom images for enterprise deployment, or to repair problems with custom installations of Windows 8 Pro on your Surface Pro device.


      Trends in Cloud Computing Cloud Security Readiness Report

      Posted by bink on May 16 2013, 9:07 PM.

      This report is the result of information collected in the Cloud Security Readiness Tool (CSRT).

        This report is the result of information collected in the Cloud Security Readiness Tool (CSRT). The CSRT is a brief survey that seeks information about the maturity level of an organization’s current on-premises IT infrastructure. Organizations can use the CSRT to better understand their systems, processes, policies, and practices. They can also improve their current IT state, learn about relevant industry regulations, and receive guidance on how to evaluate different cloud options. This report analyzes data that was collected in the six-month period between October 2012 and March 2013. The data consists of answers provided by people who used the CSRT. Approximately 5700 anonymized responses to the CSRT’s 27 questions were received from around the world.