A few months ago Microsoft published an app to configure the Surface Pen. The app formally known as Surface Hub but renamed to Surface App helps to set the action when pressing the button on the pen, but can also configure the sensitivity and disable/enable the Windows hardware button. A very handy app which was only available in the Microsoft Store so far. No issue for everyone who owns a Microsoft account and can install apps from the Store, but what about Enterprise users who get their software installed via SCCM or other deployment solutions? Microsoft fixed this and published the app on the website as a standard download. You can download the .appx and other files and integrate them into your standard deployment process. There is also a TechNet article which describes how to install it.
Back in March Microsoft has published a new UEFI version (3.11.760.0) for the Surface Pro 3 device. The latest update to the firmware and drivers includes some great remote management features to control the devices hardware. i.e. you can control if a user has access to the camera, Bluetooth stack, microSD reader and more. To configure this on a per devices basis would be challenging so they implemented a remote management feature as well. Just yesterday Microsoft published the tools to manage the UEFI. These are based on PowerShell.
If you want to learn more about the tools please check this TechNet article.
Surface Pro 3 UEFI Firmware v3.11.760.0:
Tool: UEFI configuration settings to be managed remotely
• http://download.microsoft.com/download/9/D/5/9D5FE91C-A294-45AF-98D3-016C36213962/Surface Firmware Tool.msi
Yesterday at MWC Microsoft has announced the Universal Foldable Keyboard. My first though was: “Wow that keyboard looks like a small foldable Surface Type Cover”. The new keyboard is compatible with Android, iOS and Windows Phone. The keyboard connects via Bluetooth so their might be a chance to connect the new device to a Windows tablet too. The video and the photos show a MicroUSB port which should be used for charging. Battery lifetime and pricing was not announced yet.
Today at 8:30am CET Microsoft started their press conference from the Mobile World Congress 2015 at Barcelona. Stephen Elop and his Team presented two new Lumia devices, the 640 and the 640 XL. Two new affordable devices with interesting specs. Both devices are upgradable to Windows 10. And this was the most important part of the day for me. During the presentation they showed the new Windows 10 build on a Lumia 930 including the new Office apps for Windows 10. Outlook Touch looks the same, on the tablet and the phone. This is a great experience and I’m really looking forward to work with it.
Another cool fact today was the presentation of Surface Hub. Actually this was the first time Microsoft showed the new device in Europe.
Check the Lumia conversations @ Microsoft.com for more Details: http://lumiaconversations.microsoft.com/category/news/
Microsoft has released a new Version of Siena, a very handy tool to easily create LOB apps for Windows 8.x. I’ve played loads with Siena in the last few month and the most important Feature I was missing was accessing Sharepoint Online. With the new release this will work. But there are more great features coming.
- Office 365 calendars, emails, contacts and files with Azure Active Directory integration
- Read/write capability for SharePoint Online lists
- Support for portrait and landscape aspect ratios
- Grouping and multi-selection of visual elements
- Support for Line Charts as a new visual element
Siena Websites: microsoft.com/en-us/projectsiena/LookingAhead.aspx
Well, I’m not back at VMware … but I’ve had a customer situation this week where I got in touch with Airwatch MDM. My customer would like to use Windows Phones with Airwatch but had some questions regarding the configuration. It wasn’t really a phone question but more related to a option configurable in the Airwatch Console. There were two fields without description, one for EAP in the VPN configuration and another in the WLAN configuration when using WPA encryption.
To be honest I didn’t even know what they are talking about but again the old wisdom is right …… RTFM.
The Microsoft MDM protocol documentation for Windows Phone 8.1 gives you all you need. There are great examples in the documentation you can use.
But usually I’m not a person to read a manual too…
Microsoft MDM Protocol documentation: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn499787.aspx
Microsoft is updating the Intune Company Portal as part of the Microsoft Intune service upgrade. A big improvement in the new release is the fact that you don’t need a Symantec certificate to enable the Enrollment of Windows Phone 8.1 devices in the Intune standalone version anymore. Please check the TechNet blog mentiond below to get more detailed information. The technical documentation will be available on 21th November at: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=519191&WT.mc_id=Blog_Intune_General_PCIT
Great News from the Intune Team at Microsoft. They’ve published a new blog post today saying that an upgraded version with new capabilities is coming this week. To get a full overview of the news please visit the TechNet blog but here’s a Feature view in a nutshell.
- Enhanced user interface for Intune administration console
- Ability to restrict access to Exchange on-premises email based upon device enrollment
- Bulk enrollment of devices using a single service account
- Lockdown of Supervised iOS devices and devices using Samsung KNOX with Kiosk mode
- Targeting of policies and apps by device groups
- Ability to report on and allow or block a specific set of applications
- Enforcement of application install or uninstall
- Deployment of certificates, email, VPN and WiFi profiles
- Ability to push free store apps to iOS devices
- More convenient access to internal corporate resources using per-app VPN configurations for iOS devices
- Remote pin reset for Windows Phone 8.1 devices
- Multi-factor authentication at enrollment for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices
- Ability to restrict administrator access to a specific set of user and device groups
- Updated Company Portal apps to support customizable terms and conditions
New Microsoft Storage Best Practices for Hyper-V & SQL Server: SMB 3.0 and Scale-Out File Servers
Tuesday, September 16, 2:00 pm ET / 11:00 am PT
Featured Speaker: Greg Schulz, Founder, StorageIO
What is the trick to supporting growth for your Microsoft environment without breaking your budget, or causing performance problems? Scale-Out File Server (SOFS) is the Microsoft solution for enabling a flexible, scalable resilient data infrastructure supporting Windows, Hyper-V and SQL Server environments.
Attend this webinar with Greg Schulz, Founder of Server and StorageIO to learn how to scale with stability of Microsoft SOFS environments including:
- Explore SOFS issues, challenges and opportunities
- Scaling SOFS with flexibility and resiliency
- Leverage RAM and flash SSD as a write-back cache
- Server side PCIe, SAS and SATA storage options
- Stretch your budget further using less hardware
- Flexible networking with your server and storage
- Boosting performance and increasing flash SSD life
- Reduce your data footprint impact with deduplication
Link for registration: http://w.on24.com/r.htm?e=844957&s=1&k=A5630C9D2A97320C3C6BD7724D8E2A74&partnerref=starwind
Live Webinar: Software-Defined Storage Architecture: Optimizing Business Value and Minimizing Risk in Microsoft/VMware Storage Strategies
Tuesday, September 24, 2:00 pm ET / 11:00 am PT
Featured Speaker: Jon Toigo, Toigo Partners International
Sifting through the marketing hype from VMware and Microsoft regarding their “server-side software-defined storage models” can be almost as challenging as understanding the underlying technical issues that software-defined storage seeks to solve. What is needed is a clear headed analysis of the storage challenges created by virtual server computing, the benefits and limitations of competing software-defined approaches to addressing them, and what alternatives exist that might provide highly available and scalable storage capacity in a business-savvy way.
In this webinar, storage expert Jon Toigo:
- Provides a brief retrospective on the drivers of software-defined storage
- Delivers a snapshot of the current approaches of the leading hypervisor vendors for delivering SDS architecture
- Identifies the key requirements that have yet to be met
Special Offer:Attend the webinar and get a chance to win FREE 6-month NFR license key for StarWind Virtual SAN!
If you would like to design an app you need development skills – usually, but not with Project Siena. Siena which was just published as Beta 3 Version. Project Siena is a WYSIWYG development tool from Microsoft which enables everyone to create nice little apps for Windows 8 tablets.
The new version has great enhancements i.e. easier integration with social networks like Facebook or Twitter.
Please download the new version from Microsofts website.