Workspace transformation is gaining lot of momentum at the moment. At its core, it is about letting users access data and applications securely anywhere anytime. Enabling users to quickly provision their devices is only part of the story. Request applications so they can quickly securely access the data without the large bureaucracy associated with IT organizations, is becoming second nature. Enabling anywhere authorization, authentication and provisioning requires a set of cloud-enabled technologies which ultimately provide agility, cost efficiencies and collaborative workplaces needed in today’s business environment.
I think it is fair to say that this is very – VERY – different than any other Windows OS launch than in the past. Microsoft has kept a very tight lip on what the announcements contain, and details (or leaks) have not surfaced yet.
A couple of questions I often get are: How to get the Windows 10 image on to the device after a hard disk failure Will… Read More »Windows Autopilot after Hardware Failure
Device as a Service (DaaS), PC as a Service (PCaaS), virtual desktop as a service and cloud-based desktops are not new to the industry. Now a potential service in this realm to be provided by Microsoft as part of their Microsoft 365 service offerings.
Microsoft is transitioning Windows Insider Program from the existing frequency-based RING model to a channel model aligning to the Office release model to focus on quality .
Windows Autopilot does not imply customer must use Microsoft Intune.
Window Autopilot is independent of the Modern Device Management tool used by the organization.
Windows 10 version 2004 was released to the public on May 27, 2020.
There is a new version of Windows 10 brewing in the distance. But are we really talking about a new version of Windows 10?
Following up from my previous post Windows 10 Generic Image / No Bloatware I would like to share a great open source script it was… Read More »Script to Remove Bloatware from Windows 10
Organizations need to stay up-to-date in their Windows 10 OS patching otherwise they introduce a lot of security risk and likely compliance governance issues.
How to grant users temporary Local Admin Rights to their devices in an environment where they do not have it.
Most versions of Windows 10 v1803 will end-of-life on November 12, 2019. Microsoft plans to update automatically those computers to v1903.
As organizations deploy Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise with Modern Device Management the processes for activating Windows 10 are changing, and new options are available.
Most of us are familiar with the traditional product key registration for Windows devices. For businesses (large and small) the common activation scenarios for activation have included:
- OEM Pro – needs internet connection for one-time activation
- Multiple Activation Key (MAK) (Pro or Enterprise) – needs internet connection 1 time per system
- Key Management Services (KMS) – on premise KMS server doing continual activation
- Firmware-embedded – never needs to be on internet connection, it can be in a deferred activation state and never watermark
Update 8/1/2020: Microsoft has updated their official blog post a number of times since this post to include automated ways from Intune and ConfigManager.
We have published a number of posts about what Windows Autopilot is and how to setup and test. Now that so many organizations have taken note of Modern Device Management advantages they want to know how to include those devices into the Windows Autopilot.
It needs to be clarified that Modern Devices Management in the context of Windows Autopilot, is comprised of three parts:
- Device Registration
- Device Enrollment
- Device Provisioning
This article relates to step 1) for existing devices within an organization. Specifically the question it is trying to answer is:
Is there a way we can generate the IDs without someone sitting down in front of hundreds / thousand of individual machines and manually starting the PowerShell script?
Here is high level steps what I have seen done out there:Read More »Gathering Existing Devices Windows Autopilot Device IDs
Guest post by Colin Sainsbury
In the past, operational process often involved to wiping and reloading/re-imaging a device between users or to fix issues that have crept in. This is both time consuming and costly representing an unnecessary overhead. In environments where contingent/contractor labour is a high proportion of the workforce, this has been a significant cost driver. Windows 10 provides new ways to address this challenge.
It should be noted that none of these approaches deliver true data sanitation nor do they claim to be NIST 800-88 compliant. In this sense, they might be appropriate between users within the same organisation or business sub-unit but not when end of warranty devices are being returned to lessor or sold on. Always take advice from your information security team before adopting one of these methods to ensure that it meets their need to protect your data.Read More »Windows 10 Refreshing the OS – Operational Processes
Not long ago, in August 2018, I wrote a blog post Microsoft Platform: Workspace Transformation in which I mentioned that each of the products included in the Microsoft 365 platform have already “changed and will continue to change the landscape of the way we are to manage end-user compute space”
I mentioned several products by name including:
- Azure Active Directory
- Windows 10
- Microsoft Intune
- Windows Analytics
- Windows Autopilot
- Office 365 ProPlus
- Microsoft 365
What has surprise me the most about the last year, is the adoption speed and acceleration of the platform.
Windows 10 was released (general availability) on June 29, 2015, four years ago!
As opposed to previous versions of the Microsoft Operating System, where each edition came as a separate ISO, there is only one package for the latest Windows 10 OS that can be “unlocked” when activated to have the edition you need. (there are some restrictions/requirements based on licensing)
One of the most common questions I get when talking about Modern Device Management is how to upgrade the edition that comes with the device from Pro to Enterprise as part of the enrollment / provisioning process.
What is Windows Autopilot white glove?
The new Windows Autopilot white glove process, which lets IT technicians, partners, and even OEMs pre-provision devices before they are delivered to the user. Using this process, all device configuration tasks, including apps (machine-targeted or user-targeted), certificates, and policies, can be completed in advance, making it so that when the user gets the device, the device can be ready for productive use within a few minutes.
Is it available yet?
Today is April 8, 2019, and with 280 calendar days ( less than 195 working days) away from the Windows 7 End of Support deadline, many organizations are realizing that they need a strategy in place for those devices that, for whatever the reason is, are not going to make the cut to Windows 10.
Yep – you heard correctly!
No more Semi-Annual Channel Targeted (aka CB) or Semi-Annual Channel Broad (aka CBB) releases!
Although this is not a new topic (John Wilcox gave us a heads up back in May 2018) the Semi-Annual Channel(SAC) Targeted release (formerly known as CB or Current Branch) will be fully retired after Windows 10 v1903.
What this means for Enterprises? Read More »Semi-Annual Channel(SAC) Targeted release will be retired
One of the most common questions I am asked during Small-Medium Business (SMB) customer calls is why should I move from Windows 10 Pro to Enterprise.
The simple (but not complete) answer is: The primary reason is because of the security features included in Enterprise.
Baseline functionality for both versions include:
UPDATE February 2021: Microsoft announced that the next version of Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC will be released in the second half of this calendar year (2H21) and will carry a 5-year support lifecycle, instead of the 10-year lifecycle supported with previous version. Full Microsoft announcement post here.
Now that Windows 7 is less than a year ( 250 working days and counting!) away from officially end of life, we have many organizations that are not prepared to deal with the constant cycle of updates Windows 10 brings and are looking into different alternatives. The challenges on the last released update to Windows 10, v1809, did not help these late / cautious adopter organizations that the new Windows as a Service cycle is better that the previous approach.
Some of the paths they are looking include:
As I go around customers talking about Modern Provisioning, a common questions during the session is: What do I need to give Windows Autopilot a try? How do I test it? What are the requirements? How do I get started?
You can take Windows Autopilot for a test drive with little effort and no need to order new devices. Here is how:Read More »How to Try Windows Autopilot
Many businesses (especially large ones) have been using Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) with Software Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) or similar system to manage Windows updates to the end-point devices for a very long time. However many do not have a formalized process to update the O/S on their devices.
For the past 3 years or so Microsoft’s Windows 10 introduced automatically downloads and installs updates to make sure your device is secure and up to date.
As businesses adopt and migrate to Windows 10 they have to deal with three basic challenges:
After a long wait, Microsoft has started once again to roll out Windows 10 v1809 (October 2018 Update) starting November 13. Originally released on Oct 2, 2018, Microsoft paused the roll out after issues were reported and confirmed a week later (October 9)
Software is available via the Software Download Center (via Update Assistant or the Media Creation Tool), Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), and Windows Update for Business and also on the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).
Great article by my colleague at Dell EMC, Colin Sainsbury on Application Testing and Management in a Windows 10 world. Preparing applications for… Read More »Windows 10 Migration: It’s All About the Apps
Just a few of days ago (Sep 6, 2018) Microsoft announced Windows 7 Extended Support Upgrade (ESU) where businesses can now pay to extend Windows 7 Security Updates Beyond January 14, 2020. (See summary of announcement here )
Although pricing was not revealed, the blog post announcement, authored by Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Office and Windows Marketing stated:
“[T]oday we are announcing that we will offer paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) through January 2023. The Windows 7 ESU will be sold on a per-device basis and the price will increase each year,”
There was a very significant announcement that was made public today. Summary of announcement: Longer Windows 10 servicing for enterprises and educational institutions moving from… Read More »Microsoft announcement: WaaS and Windows 7
There was a very significant announcement that was made public today.
Summary of announcement:
- Longer Windows 10 servicing for enterprises and educational institutions moving from 18 month cycle to a 30 month cycle. (per version)
- Windows 7 Extended Security Updates: Microsoft will offer paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) through January 2023.
- Not sure about the price yet, but this option essentially extends the support deadline for Windows 7 by 3 years provides organizations with three additional years of security updates. The paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESUs) will be sold on a per-device basis, with the price increasing each year.
- Introduction of Desktop Analytics service which will provide insight and intelligence to make more informed decisions about the update readiness of your Windows and Office clients.
- Introdution of Desktop App Assure—
a new service from Microsoft FastTrack designed to address issues with Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus app compatibility
What is the pricing and the differences between the different versions of Microsoft 365.
onth – or so, I try to find a short list on Windows 10 related topics which would be of interest to you and specially… Read More »InfoBits – Windows 10 News You Can use Aug 2018
Workspace transformation is gaining lot of momentum at the moment. At its core, it is about letting users access data and applications securely anywhere anytime. … Read More »Microsoft Platform: Workspace Transformation
Lots of change in the EUC space these days! — The reason for this blog is a specific question I received : Customer is looking… Read More »Windows 10 and Application Modernization: MSIX Format
- Getting to Windows 10.
- Maintaining Windows 10
This article is all about “Getting to Windows 10”.
All of us have been to customers that have not yet officially started their Windows 10 projects or they are still at very early stages. This is especially true for larger organizations (public and private sectors). Procrastination is real, and unless Microsoft changes the date – which they have stated publicly they are not , Windows 7 -based devices will be out of support January 14, 2020. which meant they will be a security compliance issue, not to mentioned the data security risks.
The message is not new. But the reality of the timeline ahead, is! – We are at that point. (want the blue pill or red pill )
Windows 7 End of Extended Support date: January 14, 2020 : Days Remaining to migrate your PC fleet: Total Calendar Days: 569 / Business Days: <395 Call to… Read More »InfoBits: Windows 10 News You can Use June 2018
h – or so, I try to find a short list on Windows 10 related topics which would be of interest to you and specially… Read More »InfoBits – Windows 10 News You Can Use May 2018
Every month, I try to find a short list on Windows 10 related topics which would be of interest to you and specially your customers. … Read More »InfoBits – Win10 News you can use Nov 2017
Windows 10 is about just about 2 years old ( 1507 Threadstone 1 was released on July 29, 2015) , and even though it was short of the 1 billion devices originally targeted by this time, the ~500 million or so is a tremendous achievement. It has been the fastest Microsoft OS adoption in history.
Next year, 2018, will be a pivotal year for businesses adoption with, according to a recently released Gartner report, over 85% percent of enterprises will have started Windows 10 deployments by the end of 2017.
Windows 10 is about just about 2 years old ( 1507 Threadstone 1 was released on July 29, 2015) , and even though it was short… Read More »Deploying Windows 10 within your Business Video Series
Now it becomes real!
When Discussing the continuous update model of Windows as a Service, one of the first questions that comes out is:
What would be the impact of not keeping up with Windows-as-a-Services updates?
Although it has been stated by Microsoft a number of time, we now have a clear written statement from them on the impact.
Here is a summary of the first End of Service (for v1507) line announcement out of Microsoft:
Windows 10 version 1507 will no longer receive security updates
After May 9, 2017, Windows 10 devices running version 1507 will no longer receive security and quality updates.
Microsoft recommends updating devices to the latest version of Windows 10 Read More »Windows 10 v1507 – End of Life
If you have not seen the latest Microsoft Tech Summit video from Michael Niehaus you are missing a lot ! Enhance Windows 10 deployment: What’s… Read More »Tech Summit 2017: Windows 10 Deployment Whats New Video
Many people ping me on a weekly basis wanting to know what Microsoft’s Windows AutoPilot is and understand what it means or if they can use it right away..
Microsoft and other vendors are marketing as the new zero-touch deployment experience.
This is what I tell them:
Read More »Windows Autopilot Basics
Summary: Microsoft’s Windows 10 new delivery and update cycles will drive significant change in the current enterprise application compatibility testing and verification operational processes. These… Read More »Application Compatibility Testing with Windows 10 and Windows-as-a-Service
Looks like the next version of Windows 10, dubbed Creator Update – will include a Legacy BIOS to UEIF in-place migration tool. This is very… Read More »In-Place UEFI Conversion coming Window 10
I have extracted a list of the Windows 10 / EMS and related sessions with links to the respective videos online. Once again –… Read More »Microsoft Ignite 2016 – Win10 / EMS Sessions
[ Update 20161004: I encourage you to watch Brad Anderson’s keynote session at Microsoft Ignite 2016 – Simply IMPRESSIVE! ] As I have written before, technology… Read More »The Value Proposition of a Platform: Microsoft Win10/Office365/EM+S