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Windows 10 News You Can Use – March 2019

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Win10NewsLogo Windows 10 news you can use, March 2019 edition

Providing insights into Windows 10 deployment & management, security & compliance, and productivity.

Are you looking understand that ROI for your investment in a Microsoft 365 modern desktop? Then look no further as Microsoft has created an interactive ROI model based upon a Forrester Consulting case study, “The Total Economic Impact Of The Modern Desktop With Microsoft 365” (as commissioned by Microsoft). By filling in simple values, you can determine a high-level estimate of the economic impact on your specific environment of migrating from on-premise third-party and Microsoft solutions to Microsoft 365 modern desktop.

Deployment & Management
  1. The perils of using Internet Explorer as your default browser. When enough is enough for technical debt and why customers shouldn’t just stay status quo.
  2. MSIX: Package Support Framework. Part One – The Blueprint.
  3. We are excited to announce MSIX is now including support for Windows 10 versions 1709 and 1803, in addition to 1809 that is already supported. The new support enables distribution of MSIX packages within your enterprise using tools like System Center Configuration Manager, Microsoft Intune, PowerShell, double-click file deployments or installing directly from the APIs. This change does not include distribution from the Microsoft Store or Microsoft Store for Business, which will still require Windows 10 1809 or later.
  4. Want more information on the Microsoft Managed Desktop service? Microsoft has updated the MMD website and added a useful new e-book on the service.
  5. With Windows 10, there was never actually a Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted), or SAC-T, release; rather, SAC-T merely reflected a milestone for the semi-annual release. Beginning with Windows 10, version 1903 (the next feature update for Windows 10), the Windows 10 release information page will no longer list SAC-T information for version 1903 and future feature updates. Instead, you will find a single entry for each new SAC release. If you use Windows Update for Business, then read these guidelines for how this change will reflect the removal of the SAC-T nomenclature.
  6. Modern Desktop podcast – Windows 10 Application Compatibility. This episode (47:48) focuses on one of the biggest perceived pain points we hear from organizations getting ready for Windows 10 – Application Compatibility. We talk with Aleks Lopez and Robyn Nolan about the Windows Desktop App Assure program, as well as Chris Jackson, @appcompatguy, about the history of application compatibility over the various versions of Windows and where organizations are today.
  7. Windows 10 monthly quality updates are cumulative, containing all previously released fixes to ensure consistency and simplicity. Microsoft introduces a new technique to build compact software update packages that are applicable to any revision of the base version, and then describe how Windows 10 quality updates uses this technique.
Security & Compliance
  1. Tips to keep your devices and data safe using these simple security best practices.
  2. The keystone to good security hygiene is limiting your attack surface. Attack surface reduction (ASR) is a technique to remove or constrain exploitable behaviors in your systems. In this blog, we discuss the two ASR rules introduced recently and cover suggested deployment methods and best practices.
  3. We have been recommending the use of TLS 1.2 and above for some time. To help provide guidance, we are pleased to announce the release of the Solving the TLS 1.0 Problem, 2nd Edition white paper. The goal of this document is to provide the latest recommendations that can help remove technical blockers to disabling TLS 1.0 while at the same time increasing visibility into the impact of this change to your own customers.
  4. Announcing Microsoft Threat Experts! This new managed threat hunting service in Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. It provides proactive hunting, prioritization, and additional context and insights that further empower Security Operations Centers to identify and respond to threats quickly and accurately.
  1. Microsoft puts people first by offering a wide range of Windows 10 accessibility features for users of many different abilities. Known internally as the Windows Accessibility team, the Input for Everyone team draws back a curtain for you to peek behind the scenes. Learn how Windows engineers are building accessibility features for all of us.
  2. In this video (1:53), meet Brett Humphrey, a Senior Program Manager on the Windows Accessibility team to learn more about his experience of going through school and using technology with low vision and translating Windows to people with different abilities.
  3. Video (2:15) – Windows Narrator gets more accessible with QuickStart. The new Narrator QuickStart app teaches users with low vision and blindness how to navigate Windows, browse the web, and learn more with Narrator user guide.
  4. Windows 10 Tip: AI-powered PowerPoint Designer gets smarter.
  5. In Windows 10, the People app allows you to forge better connections with your primary contacts by keeping you in the loop about important dates, upcoming commitments, and recent conversations.
  6. Windows 101: Four ways to customize your taskbar.
  7. Windows 101: Unleash Windows superpower with right click. The right click on your mouse is capable of more than you know. Use it to gain instant access to all kinds of features and unleash your potential for productivity.
  8. Video (2:57) – Minimize distractions with Windows 10 Focus assist. Don’t let interruptions get in the way of your productivity. Windows 10 Focus assist acts as a gatekeeper, so distractions remain at bay.
In other news related to Windows 10…


Windows 10 News You Can Use – February 2019

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Win10NewsLogo Windows 10 news you can use, February 2019 edition

Providing insights into Windows 10 deployment & management, security & compliance, and productivity. Also see other news related to Windows 10.

With Windows 7 end of support coming in one year—January 14, 2020—and Office 2010 close behind, there’s an opportunity right now to be proactive about what’s next. 2019 is the year to make the shift to a modern desktop. Changes and upgrades in technology are inevitable, and there’s never been a better time to start putting in motion the things you need to do to shift your organization to a modern desktop with Microsoft 365. As you think about this upgrade, this is a time to consider how your approach can set you up for the future to deliver an incredible experience for your users that is empowering and secure.

Deployment & Management
  1. To streamline update management and eliminate the need for on-premises infrastructure to deploy feature and quality updates, Microsoft CSEO implemented Windows Update for Business (WUfB). It provides centralized management and reduces the level of effort required to keep Windows 10 devices up to date. With WUfB we can control how and when Windows 10 devices at Microsoft receive updates, configure restart policies for enforcement, and use analytics services to monitor our update compliance. See this case study on keeping Windows 10 devices up to date with Microsoft Intune and Windows Update for Business.
  2. Starting with the next major update we’re making a few changes to how Windows 10 manages disk space. Through reserved storage, some disk space will be set aside to be used by updates, apps, temporary files, and system caches. Our goal is to improve the day-to-day function of your PC by ensuring critical OS functions always have access to disk space.
  3. Application compatibility in the Windows ecosystem. In this installment of Microsoft’s quality blog series, Mete Goktepe from the Windows Application Compatibility team describes the various programs and technologies used to improve app compatibility.
  4. What’s new in Windows 10 management support with Microsoft Intune (January 2019).
  5. Updated and improved documentation and guidance! Find the tools and resources you need to deploy and support Windows as a service in your organization.
  6. Starting with Windows 10, v. 1809, WinPE is an add-on to the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK). Previously it was included in the ADK. To get Windows PE, install the ADK, and then install the WinPE addon.
  7. Simplifying device management with Microsoft Intune and Windows Autopilot. Case studies for adoption within the education sector.
Security & Compliance
  1. Announcing Windows Defender Application Guard availability in Windows 10 Professional. Now, like Windows 10 Enterprise users, Windows 10 Pro users can navigate the Internet in Application Guard knowing their systems are safe from common web-based attacks. It is available now to our awesome Windows Insider community to give it a try and provide feedback. Plus a guide on steps to enable this cutting edge experience on the latest Windows Insider Preview build.
  2. Windows Defender ATP automated machine tagging in just a few simple steps. This blog explains how the APIs for WDATP can help a SOC analyst triage alerts more efficiently.
  3. Windows Defender ATP integrates with Microsoft Information Protection to discover, protect, and monitor sensitive data on Windows.
  4. Microsoft Intune introduces MDM Security Baselines to secure the modern workplace. Microsoft has years of experience publishing security baselines as Group Policy Objects in the Security and Compliance Toolkit (SCT). Customers have trusted this toolkit for years to provide templates to configure security baselines through Group Policy. Microsoft Intune now brings the same collective knowledge and expertise to secure the modern desktop with MDM security baselines. These security baselines in the Intune service leverage the greatly expanded manageability of Windows 10 using Mobile Device Management (MDM).
  1. Windows 10 Tip: Microsoft Forms to create, run and analyze results from surveys and quizzes.
  2. Windows 10 Tip: Using the Your Phone app to get instant access to your Android phone’s photos and texts on your computer – no need to dig for your phone to text or email yourself photos.
  3. Windows 10 Tip: Timeline for phone. Timeline makes it way easier to find what matters to you across your devices. You can also pick up what you were doing – even if it was on your iOS or Android device – on your Windows 10 PC when you’re ready to get back to it.
  4. Copy and paste across Windows 10 devices using cloud clipboard.
  5. Love Snipping Tool? Snip & Sketch allows you to do even more with your snips. Watch this video (3:38) to learn about its history and what the most recent update means for you.
  6. Transfer your photos from phone to PC without a cable.
  7. To protect against device loss or damage and to provide anywhere access to files, we recommend storing them in Office 365. Last June we announced Known Folder Move (KFM) in OneDrive for customers on Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows 10. Known Folder Move provides an easy way to redirect your desktop documents and folders to OneDrive, making OneDrive the default location for those files. Today we are announcing a new capability that makes it easier for you to create and save your Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document directly to the cloud. When you go to save an Office365 document, the new dialog box will default to OneDrive or SharePoint Online. And if you forget to save a new document before exiting, you will also see this updated save experience.
  8. Windows 10 Tip: Track multiple time zones with world clock.
  9. Windows 10 Tip: New pen gestures make it easier to edit Word documents.
  10. A faster and easier way to stay on top of your tasks – Cortana with Microsoft To-Do.
  11. With the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, Narrator (Windows screen reader) has become more accessible. The new Narrator QuickStart app teaches users with low vision and blindness how to navigate Windows, browse the web, and learn more with Narrator user guide.
In other news related to Windows 10…

Windows 10 News You Can Use – January 2019

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Win10NewsLogo Windows 10 news you can use, January 2019 edition

Providing insights into Windows 10 deployment & management, security & compliance, and productivity. Also see other news related to Windows 10.

Do you deploy, configure, secure, manage, and monitor devices and client applications in an enterprise environment? Do you manage identity, access, policies, updates, and apps and collaborate with the M365 Enterprise Administrator to design and implement a device strategy that meets the business needs of a modern organization? Are you familiar with M365 workloads and proficient in deploying, configuring, and maintaining Windows 10 and non-Windows devices and technologies? If so, it’s time to earn your Modern Desktop Administrator certification!

Deployment & Management
  1. Microsoft 365 enables customers to shift to a modern desktop experience puts it at the heart of workplace transformation. A modern desktop with Windows 10 and Office 365 not only offers the most productive and most secure computing experience, it also saves IT time and money, and allows for a focus on driving business results. For many companies, their specific needs require a modern desktop be virtualized. To help extend our virtualization capabilities and provide an even richer experience for Microsoft 365 customers, we are excited to announce the acquisition of FSLogix. FSLogix is a next-generation app-provisioning platform that reduces the resources, time and labor required to support virtualization. From small businesses to very large global enterprises across numerous industries, FSLogix solutions enhance customer experience and productivity, while reducing support requirements for IT departments.
  2. Microsoft is excited to announce that we are named a Leader for Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) in the inaugural Forrester Wave: Unified Endpoint Management, Q4 2018. Forrester notes in the report that, Microsoft’s release of co-management in late 2017 has bolstered the company’s ability to serve advanced Windows 10 management use cases and provides a flexible path for customers to test out modern management. Forrester also recognizes Microsoft for having the some of the strongest security capabilities in the evaluation of 12 vendors.
  3. Traditionally, the desktop management scenario for most enterprises has been one where all users and devices are located on-site with a direct network connection. That’s been the state of things for years. But the workplace is changing. More of your users work remotely full-time; some never set foot in your physical facilities. If you do the initial setup for a Windows 10 device on-premises, you start out in control. But if those devices are distributed to your remote workforce, how do you maintain control? How do you make sure user devices are secure and up-to-date while keeping the update process simple and hassle-free? In short, you implement a modern desktop management strategy.
  4. New Microsoft site for the latest information and guidance on Windows as a Service! Find the tools and resources you need to help deploy and support WaaS in your organization.
  5. Renaming Windows 10 devices using Microsoft Intune
  6. Windows Transport converges on two Congestion Providers: Cubic and LEDBAT. In the heart of the Windows kernel there is a networking stack. At the heart of the networking stack there is a layer called Transport and Transport contains a suite of algorithms called Congestion Providers. This post takes a look at the difference between the two along with a deeper view into the difference between them using the example of a software update being delivered by SCCM.
  7. Evaluating Windows 10 Delivery Optimization and its impact to your network at the device level as well as across the organization with Windows Analytics’ Update Compliance.
  8. Gartner: Rethink Windows 10 Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB / LTSC) Deployment Based on Microsoft’s Updated Guidance – refreshed August 2018.
  9. Modern desktop servicing: the year in review. Since Windows 10 first shipped, and the Windows as a service model was introduced, we have heard you talk about three common concerns: application compatibility, end user interruption, and network bandwidth impact. I’m happy to report that, in 2018, we made significant progress in addressing each of these concerns.
  10. New! Microsoft 365 Modern Desktop podcast channel.  In this series, we’ll explore the good, the bad, and yes the ugly of servicing and delivery for Windows 10 and Office ProPlus. We’ll talk about modern desktop management through Enterprise Mobility, security, even Cloud attached and co-managed environments.
  11. Driver quality in the Windows ecosystem. Ensuring Windows 10 works great with all the devices and accessories our customers use is a top priority for our team. There are millions of configurations of hardware and driver combinations in the Windows ecosystem, allowing for great customer choice and unlocking opportunity for partners. We work closely with this broad mix of partners to test new drivers, monitor health characteristics over time, and make Windows and our ecosystem more resilient architecturally. In this blog, part of our series on the Windows approach to quality, Tom Frankum from our Silicon, Graphics and Media team will provide more detail about the work we do to improve Windows driver quality.
  12. Modern desktop servicing: the year in review. 2018 was a pivotal year for the modern desktop and the servicing transformation journey we have been taking with you and your organization. With that in mind, I thought it would be good to look back and recap the progress that has been made, highlight significant events, and provide insight into what 2019 has in store.
Security & Compliance
  1. Analysis of cyberattack on U.S. think tanks, non-profits, public sector by unidentified attackers. Microsoft customers using the complete Microsoft Threat Protection solution were protected from the attack. Behavior-based protections in multiple Microsoft Threat Protection components blocked malicious activities and exposed the attack at its early stages. Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection caught the malicious URLs used in emails, driving the blocking of said emails, including first-seen samples. Meanwhile, numerous alerts in Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection exposed the attacker techniques across the attack chain.
  2. Insights from the MITRE ATT&CK-based evaluation of Windows Defender ATP. In MITREs evaluation of endpoint detection and response solutions, Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection demonstrated industry-leading optics and detection capabilities. The breadth of telemetry, the strength of threat intelligence, and the advanced, automatic detection through machine learning, heuristics, and behavior monitoring delivered comprehensive coverage of attacker techniques across the entire attack chain.
  3. Video (1:57) on the Windows channel on YouTube features how Windows Information Protection (WIP) helps prevent users from accidentally copying work data to personal sites.
  4. Remote Use of Local Accounts: LAPS Changes Everything. Aaron Margosis of Microsoft revisits the question about whether and when to block the use of local accounts, particularly for remote administration.
  5. Microsoft has put a lot of effort in Hyper-V security. Hyper-V, and the whole virtualization stack, runs at the core of many of our products: cloud computing, Windows Defender Application Guard, and technology built on top of Virtualization Based Security (VBS). Read more from Microsoft’s Security Research & Defense about the first steps in Hyper-V security research including an intro to the virtualization stack, the debugging environment, and addressing the attack surface inside and outside the hypervisor.
  6. One of our goals in the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) is to be more transparent with security researchers and our customers on the criteria we use for determining when we intend to address a reported vulnerability through a security update. Our belief is that improving transparency on this topic helps provide clarity on how we assess risk, sets expectations for the types of vulnerabilities that we intend to service, and facilitates constructive dialogue as the threat landscape evolves over time. In September 2018, the first version of the security servicing criteria for Windows was announced; it’s expected that this will be a living document that evolves over time as Microsoft continues the dialogue with the community on this topic.
  7. Windows Defender ATP has protections for USB and removable devices. We know, unfortunately, that people will plug in devices with unknown history (and that there are also attackers out there who directly attempt to control devices without relying on social engineering). These devices could be the source of malware infections that use USB and other removable devices to get initial access to a system or network. This vector of attack falls under social engineering in this case, appealing to our weakness for shiny things: when we see a free item were inclined to take it. To help protect against these attacks, you can prevent any removable device from being seen and interacted with by blocking users from using any removable device on the machine.
  8. Tackling phishing with signal-sharing and machine learning.With ML-based detection of malicious PDF files used for phishing, Windows Defender ATP uses multiple layers of machine learning models to correctly identify malicious content. Most attacks are caught by the first few layers, which swiftly make a verdict and protect customers at first sight during the early stages of attacks. More sophisticated attacks may need the more complex classifiers in further layers, which take more time but make sure additional protections catch attacks that evade the first, faster classifiers.
  9. Mitigating Spectre variant 2 with Retpoline on Windows.
  10. How many times have you downloaded an executable file, but were afraid to run it? Have you ever been in a situation which required a clean installation of Windows, but didn’t want to set up a virtual machine? Windows Sandbox is a new lightweight desktop environment tailored for safely running applications in isolation.
  1. Microsoft Edge: Making the web better through more open source collaboration.
  2. Introducing the Office app for Windows 10! Last year, we updated with a new experience focused on two simple things: helping users get the most out of Office and getting them back into their work quickly. The streamlined site has clearly resonated with customers, and now more than 40 percent of Office 365 web users start their work by visiting Starting today, we’re bringing this experience to Windows 10 in the form of an app, simply called Office. It’s now available to Windows Insiders (Fast) and will roll out to all Windows 10 users soon. The app itself is free and it can be used with any Office 365 subscription, Office 2019, Office 2016, or Office Online—the free web-based version of Office for consumers.
  3. Windows 10 Tip: Name your tile folders. To create a tile folder in Start, just drag one tile on top of another for a second, then release. Continue dropping as many tiles into the folder as you’d like. When you expand the folder, you’ll see a new option to name it.
  4. Windows key is the most powerful button on your keyboard. The Windows community shows you how to effectively search and find anything on your computer using only it. Whether you’re looking for that image you saved to one of your folders or need to look up weather for your trip, Windows key can help.
  5. Five Microsoft Edge features to boost productivity while browsing.
  6. Microsoft Whiteboard advancements: now more colorful and customizable than ever.
  7. Windows 10 Tip: the Windows 10 October 2018 Update comes SwiftKey intelligence.
  8. Windows 10 Tip: Schedule items by dragging a task to your calendar.
  9. Windows 10 Tip: Find files quickly using Quick access.
  10. Windows 10 Tip: Get Tips in Windows and online.
In other news related to Windows 10…

Windows Autopilot device import error 806 ZtdDeviceAlreadyRegistered

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I was recently setting up some different scenarios and tests using a VM with Windows Autopilot for Windows 10 1803 vs 1809 .  Being lazy, and thinking that I was being “smart”, I just reused the same VM but had a different VHDX disks for 1803 and 1809.  Each Windows instance had a unique hardware hash (see below snipet).

Autopilot GUIDs

However, the import failed with message “Device is already registered to the same Tenant. Error code: 806  –  ZtdDeviceAlreadyAssigned”.


The error message gives a hint to the problem about the device already being registered. But when you delete the system from within the Autopilot profiles section, it seems to NOT actually delete it.  Such that the device isn’t removed and subsequent imports fail with the same error.  This is caused because the delete was triggered to remove the device from the Microsoft Store for Business, but the change hasn’t yet synchronized back into Intune.

My experience has been that there are variance on how quickly the delete is reflected.  So if you need to expedite the scheduled sync cycle, just simply click the Sync button.  Then that should get it back into a position where you can import the new Autopilot hash CSV file successfully.


Windows 10 News You Can Use – December 2018

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Win10NewsLogo Windows 10 news you can use, December 2018 edition

Providing insights into Windows 10 deployment & management, security & compliance, and productivity. Also see other news related to Windows 10.

If you’re in IT, make sure you join us Thursday, December 13th from 9:00-10:00 a.m. Pacific Time to get up to speed and get your questions answered about Windows 10, version 1809. We’ve assembled a group of engineers and product managers from the Windows, Window Defender ATP, System Center Configuration Manager, Microsoft Intune, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft 365 teams—and we’ll be answering your questions live during what promises to be an exciting and informative “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) event.

Windows 10 quality approach for a complex ecosystem. In November, Microsoft re-released the October 2018 Update after pausing to investigate a small but serious issue. This is the first time in Windows 10’s “Windows as a Service” history that we have taken such an action, and as such it has naturally led to questions about the work we do to test and validate Windows quality before we begin rolling it out broadly.

Deployment & Management
  1. Now live! Follow the steps outlined in Microsoft’s Modern Desktop Deployment Center to plan and carry out your large-scale deployment of Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus. Each step is part of the overall planning and deployment process with steps typically running in parallel to each other in a phased deployment.
  2. Understanding the differences between servicing Windows 10-era and legacy Windows operating systems.
  3. Windows Autopilot: Hybrid Azure AD join and automatic registration.
  4. Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019 is now available on the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).
  5. KB4347075 Update to extend KMS support upcoming Enterprise LTSC and Windows Server products.
  6. When you purchase any of the Windows 10 or Microsoft 365 services (as detailed in the following Eligible plans section), FastTrack Specialists provide advisory and remediation guidance if you encounter app compatibility issues as you deploy to Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus and stay up-to-date at no additional cost (with an eligible subscription). To get help, complete the Desktop App Assure service request.
  7. Windows 10 Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC): What is it, and when should it be used?
  8. Today is an exciting day for Windows 10 on ARM. With the official release of Visual Studio 15.9, developers now have the officially supported SDK and tools for creating 64-bit ARM (ARM64) apps. This news comes at a great time as Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor second-generation ARM64 devices provide even more computing power for developers to tap into while continuing to deliver the beyond-all-day battery life customers expect from Windows 10 on ARM. Like the first-generation ARM64 devices, they are also thin, light, fast, and designed with instant-on 4G LTE connectivity in mind, while able to run the wide ecosystem of Windows applications thanks to an x86 emulation layer.
Security & Compliance
  1. Our analysis of a targeted attack used malicious InPage document and outdated VLC media player to give attackers backdoor access to targets. Historically, malware payloads like the stage 2 malware in this attack are used to steal credentials and other sensitive information, install more payloads, or move laterally in the network. However, because the malware opens a backdoor channel for remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands of their choice, there’s a wide range of possibilities.
  2. Windows Defender ATP device risk score exposes new cyberattack, drives Conditional access to protect networks. The WDATP team uncovered a new cyberattack that targeted several high-profile organizations in the energy and food and beverage sectors in Asia. Given the target region and verticals, the attack chain, and the toolsets used, we believe the threat actor that the industry refers to as Tropic Trooper was likely behind the attack. Read more about how the attack was determined, protected by Conditional access, and automatically remediated on threatened networks.
  3. Microsoft is excited to share with you some of the latest significant enhancements to Windows Defender ATP. We added new capabilities to each of the pillars of Windows Defender ATPs unified endpoint protection platform: improved attack surface reduction, better-than-ever next-gen protection, more powerful post-breach detection and response, enhanced automation capabilities, more security insights, and expanded threat hunting. These enhancements boost Windows Defender ATP and accrue to the broader Microsoft Threat Protection, an integrated solution for securing identities, endpoints, cloud apps, and infrastructure.
  4. At Microsoft, we take your device and account protection seriously, which is why we’ve been on a mission to eliminate passwords. Passwords can be difficult to remember, are often reused and can be used to hack your account anywhere, anytime, from any device. Windows Hello is a key component in our effort to finally saying goodbye to passwords. Using facial recognition, a fingerprint, or PIN, Windows Hello is a fast, secure and password-less way to unlock your Windows 10 PC.1 We’ve been busy bringing the latest and greatest features to Windows Hello and account protection and wanted to take some time to update you on what’s new.
  5. Secure password-less sign-in for your Microsoft account using a security key or Windows Hello. We just turned on the ability to securely sign in with your Microsoft account using a standards-based FIDO2 compatible device—no username or password required! FIDO2 enables users to leverage standards-based devices to easily authenticate to online services—in both mobile and desktop environments.
  6. Microsoft is pleased to announce the final release of the security configuration baseline settings for Windows 10 October 2018 Update (a.k.a., version 1809, “Redstone 5” or “RS5”), and for Windows Server 2019.
  1. Windows 10 Tip: Five ways filling out forms online just got easier in Microsoft Edge. You may have already noticed that it’s easier than ever to fill out form details in websites, thanks to several improvements in Microsoft Edge via the Windows 10 October Update. This builds on the multi-field autofill launched in April that gave users the ability to fill out multiple related fields in website forms, such as contact info and credit card details, with one click.
  2. When we released Windows 10, version 1803, we introduced Local Experience Packs (LXPs), which are modern language packs delivered through the Microsoft Store or Microsoft Store for Business. The biggest advantage to LXPs is that we no longer have to wait for feature update releases to deliver improved translations to you. Instead, translation improvements can be delivered via LXPs as a Microsoft Store application update. Local Experience Packs, available in more than 100 languages, makes Windows speak your language. Windows engineer Pankaj Mathur explains that it’s easier than ever to get and install one in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. (Subtitle available in 86 languages)
  3. Windows 10 Tip: Find out how to setup and use Surface Headphones.
  4. Save money and time with Microsoft Shopping Assistant. Microsoft Shopping Assistant, first released in 2016 through The Garage, is a browser add-on that helps you get the best deals at more than 50,000 online stores, from top retailers like Amazon and Walmart to your favorite boutique shop on Etsy.
In other news related to Windows 10…

Windows 10 News You Can Use – November 2018

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If you’re in IT, make sure you join us Thursday, December 13th from 9:00-10:00 a.m. Pacific Time to get up to speed and get your questions answered about Windows 10, version 1809. We’ve assembled a group of engineers and product managers from the Windows, Window Defender ATP, System Center Configuration Manager, Microsoft Intune, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft 365 teams—and we’ll be answering your questions live during what promises to be an exciting and informative “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) event.

What’s new in Windows 10, version 1809
Deployment & Management
  • Microsoft Mechanics video (19:44) – Windows Virtual Desktop, a new remote desktop solution on Azure, learn how you can now use Windows 10 Enterprise to allow multiple users to connect concurrently, which in the past was only available on Windows Server. All this works without the need to set up or manage virtual desktop infrastructure running remote desktop services. We’ll show you steps for getting this service up and running in minutes and as you migrate to Windows 10, discover how we now allow you to continue run Windows 7 if you need to and benefit from 3 years of Extended Security Updates with Azure.
  • Would you like to learn more about Windows Virtual Desktop?
  • Ensuring that your organization acquires and retains the necessary language packs (LPs) and language Features on Demand (FODs) to enable employees to use their Windows 10 devices in their preferred language is a crucial part of managing corporate machines, especially when keeping them up to date with the latest Windows 10 feature updates. Today, you have three options to update a managed PC to the latest Windows 10 feature update: servicing, media upgrades, and wipe/reload. This article provides guidance for all three scenarios, and information on how to acquire language pack content once a device is up to date.
  • At Ignite 2018, Microsoft announced support for Windows Autopilot for existing devices allows you to reimage and provision a Windows 7 device for Windows Autopilot user-driven mode. You can test this scenario now using Configuration Manager 1806 or later and Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18252. In this post, Microsoft will take you through the steps to accomplish this using a single SCCM (current branch) task sequence.
  • Microsoft recently made a promise I’ve been hoping to make for a long time: if an app works on a previous version of Windows and, when you update to the latest version of Windows 10, it stops working, we’ll fix it for free. With Desktop App Assure, if you hit a snag in a pilot or your deployment, you have a team of application compatibility experts who will support you and get you back up and running as quickly as possible. This makes it much easier to align your testing patterns to your predicted or measured failure rates. Let’s look at some examples of what kinds of application compatibility issues can you bring to Desktop App Assure.
  • Microsoft IT recently deployed Windows 10 to 96,000 distributed users at Microsoft. The deployment included both remote users and users on the corporate network and was completed in nine weeks. To improve on past operating system deployments, Microsoft IT deployed Windows 10 as an in-place upgrade that maintained productivity. Download the report now to see how they did it.
  • Clearing the confusion on support lifecycle of App-V and MSIX. Furthermore, with the advent of MSIX you might be wondering, “Should I move to MSIX now”? or “Why am I investing in App-V?”
  • Microsoft Mechanics now has a series of videos in their (desktop deployment essentials playlist) with steps to help in your Modern Desktop deployment process. These videos includes subjects such as device and application readiness, directory and network readiness, Office and LOB application delivery, user files and settings, considerations for security and compliance, options for deploying Windows 10, and staying up-to-date with Windows 10 and Office 365.
  • In almost any network, Delivery Optimization can be a highly effective tool, efficiently delivering content to devices and reducing the need for more internet bandwidth. This post outlines some potential scenarios that your organization might be required to accommodate, and the options you have when configuring Delivery Optimization to help you manage bandwidth. While these scenarios may not align strictly to real-life scenarios, this case study of Microsoft’s use of Delivery Optimization provides deeper insight into using peer-to-peer update distribution on a large scale.
  • Microsoft Mechanics video (17:48) – An end-to-end look at IT pro updates for device and app readiness for Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus. Lead engineer Amesh Mansukhani demos your options and offers real-world guidance for getting off older versions of Office and Windows. Includes updates to Windows Analytics with built-in Office compat, OCT integration with SCCM, how to manage updates and more.
  • Microsoft Mechanics video (21:21) – Join Randy Wong from the OneDrive engineering team for a 15-minute introduction on new capabilities that support your shift from Windows 7 to the Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus modern desktop with Known Folder Move.
  • Microsoft Mechanics video (22:16) – Watch a demonstration of what you can do with your existing process and tools while harnessing the latest updates to Systems Center Configuration Manager and co-management capabilities when cloud connected with Microsoft Intune; next-gen provisioning approaches and updates with Windows AutoPilot and how to stay current and up to date with Windows and Office as a Service.
  • Microsoft Mechanics video (20:26) – Are you ready to deploy Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus using your preferred deployment tools? In this show find out what’s new, what’s changed, and learn the best practices for real-world and proven deployment recommendations for how to shift to a modern desktop.
  • If you’re building a modern desktop to provide a more secure, productive—and enjoyable—experience for your users, you’re not alone. Learn how you can use Microsoft’s FastTrack services to accelerate your shift to a modern desktop or your efforts to stay up-to-date. FastTrack can help you in your journey to manageable, secure, and up-to-date Windows 10 devices leveraging Intune and Office 365 ProPlus. Find out how FastTrack can help you create a better plan and assist you to resolve deployment blockers based on our learnings and experiences from helping thousands of customers optimize their journey!
Security & Compliance
In other news related to Windows 10…

Windows 10 News You Can Use – October 2018

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Win10NewsLogo Providing insights into Windows 10 deployment & management, security & compliance, and productivity.


Microsoft Ignite 2018

There were more than 100 sessions focused on Windows at Microsoft Ignite 2018, and everything from a first look at Desktop Analytics and the Microsoft Managed Desktop to deep dives on Windows Autopilot, Windows servicing, Delivery Optimization, and credential protection, and so much more. Here is a list of the activities that took place for you to review and learn about.

The Microsoft Ignite 2018 Book of News is your guide to ALL the announcements that Microsoft made on Sept. 24, with summaries of the news and links to more information.

Why and how you simplify IT with Microsoft 365. At Microsoft Ignite, Brand Anderson showed 75 minutes worth of examples of how Microsoft has applied a new philosophy to the way we build tools and services for IT pros. We refer to this approach to architecture, development, and end-user experience in Microsoft 365 as being “Integrated for Simplicity.” Our goal with this integrated simplicity is to make it as easy as possible for our customers to shift to a modern desktop and make their modern workplace a reality.

Deployment & Management
  1. Free e-book from Microsoft on making the shift to a modern desktop with Microsoft 365. It summarizes top considerations for deploying new PCs or getting PCs back to a business ready state, starting with some of the key things that may have changed since your last major desktop deployment. Followed by a pragmatic step-by-step approach to making the shift.
  2. Announcing the Microsoft Managed Desktop (MMD), a new initial offering that brings together Microsoft 365 Enterprise, device as a service, and cloud-based device management by Microsoft. MMD enables customers to maximize their IT organizations’ focus on their business while Microsoft manages their modern desktops. We believe that MMD will be an option that allows organizations to fundamentally shift how they think about and manage their IT. Through MMD, customers will be able to move toward a secure, always up-to-date environment with device management by Microsoft.
  3. Join Microsoft CVP Brad Anderson to discover the benefits of a modern desktop, major changes and considerations versus previous deployments and best practices to ensure a smooth transition to Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus. This will guide you through the recommended steps for your shift to Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus, detailing how to leverage your existing tools and processes while adopting modern management technology and approaches along the way.
  4. A modern desktop offers end users the most productive, most secure computing experience—it also saves IT time and money, so you can focus on driving business results. To help you make the shift to a modern desktop, we’re pleased to announce the following important changes. (a) Cloud-based analytics tools to make modern desktop deployment even easier. (b) A program to ensure app compatibility for upgrades and updates of Windows and Office. (c) Servicing and support changes to give you additional deployment flexibility.
  5. Windows Autopilot now includes delivering BitLocker policy at OOBE, so you no longer have to decrypt and re-encrypt to get automatic BitLocker devices to meet policy (e.g. 256-bit encryption).
  6. Forrester found that Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) is finally a viable alternative to managing PCs and mobile devices separately. Download the free report which holds a comprehensive overview of the current UEM space—along with vendor recommendations, best practices, and caveats.
  7. Reduced Windows 10 package size downloads for x64 systems! The new feature updates, released as Electronic Software Distribution (ESD) files through WSUS, provide you with the option to download the x64 file as a separate package. By separating the files by system type, the download file becomes approximately 2.6 GB for the x64 package, saving you approximately 2.2 GB of download size immediately.
  8. Major updates to documentation on Windows Hello for Business!
  9. Use the “Flight Hub” dashboard to quickly identify the latest Windows Insider Preview releases for PC, Server, IoT. You can also look up the status of the SDK and ISO images.
Security & Compliance
  1. Windows Defender Antivirus consistently achieves high scores in independent tests, displaying how it is a top choice in the antivirus market. We want to be transparent and have gathered top industry reports that demonstrate our enterprise antivirus capabilities.
  2. Out of sight but not invisible: Defeating fileless malware with behavior monitoring, AMSI, and next-gen AV.
  3. Cyber thieves are catching on that we are watching them, so they are trying something different. A new malware campaign puts that to the test by targeting home users and small businesses in specific US cities. This was a focused, highly localized attack that aimed to steal sensitive info from just under 200 targets. Macro-laced documents masqueraded as statements from legitimate businesses. The documents are then distributed via email to target victims in cities where the businesses are located. With Windows Defender AVs next gen defense, however, the size of the attack doesn’t really matter.
  4. We have seen many IT departments simplify their deployment strategies using Windows Update for Business to more quickly improve productivity and the Windows 10 experience for their end users. Learn about the experience of one of those customers to help you better understand how you can leverage Windows Update for Business—in conjunction with Windows Analytics—to help you do the same.
  5. Windows Defender ATP September 2018 preview features are out!
  6. Video: In software supply chain attacks, attackers infect legitimate apps to distribute malware. Attackers target software developers and suppliers, seeking access to source codes, build processes, or update mechanisms. They hunt for unsecure network protocols, unprotected server infrastructures, and unsafe coding practices. Protect yourself, your customers, and your partners by strengthening your defenses against software supply chain attacks. Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection’s security technologies are built into Windows 10 and create a unified endpoint security platform to defend against supply chain attacks.
  1. Windows 10 Tip: Set up Windows Hello from your lock screen.
  2. Windows 10 Tip: Improvements to the HDR video experience.
  3. Windows 10 Tip: Get mobile with Microsoft Edge.
  4. Watch our how-to video and have fun using a digital pen in Microsoft Office on your Surface. Edit your writing naturally, create standout presentations, and learn to design and use features like Ink Editor, Ink-to-Text, Remix 3D, Math Assist, and more.
In other news related to Windows 10…

Windows 10 News You Can Use – September 2018

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Win10NewsLogo Providing insights into Windows 10 deployment & management, security & compliance, and productivity.

1)      Microsoft has heard from many customers to better understand the monthly Windows 10 quality update servicing cadence and terminology. In response, John Wilcox (principal program manager) shares the guiding principles, then dives into them further to provide context for the quality updates themselves.

2)      What’s next for Windows 10 and Windows Server quality updates.  Beginning February 12, 2019, Microsoft will end its practice of creating delta updates for all versions of Windows 10.  In its place, a new design for quality updates to the next major versions of Windows 10 and Windows Server, coming later this year. This design creates a compact update package for easier and faster deployment.

3)      With new improvements in Windows 10 MDM management, advancements in cloud technology, and BYOD trends, many organizations are looking for modern ways to management their Windows devices. Watch this recorded webinar session to see how you can leverage a modern management approach with Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) to simplify deployment and management, improve security, provide better end user experiences, and lower total cost of ownership for your Windows 10 devices.

4)      Basic (but easy to forget) tips to remediate Windows application compatibility challenges.

Security & Compliance

1)      Improve your defensive posture with Exploit Guard Attack Surface Reduction (ASR).  See this step-by-step guide from Microsoft’s Chris Jackson on how to configure, monitor, and deploy ASR while maintaining application compatibility.

2)      Interpreting Windows 10 Exploit Guard ASR audit alerts.  Learn about when to test and when not to.

3)      If you want an additional layer of protection from ransomware, try saving your files in OneDrive. It’s part of the new experiences that arrived with the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. Here’s how it works: If a ransomware threat is found on a device, Windows Defender will notify you of the threat, help you remove the ransomware from your device, and give you options to recover your OneDrive files to the state they were in before the attack occurred.

4)      Hardening Windows Defender ATP machine learning defenses against adversarial attacks.

5)      Protecting the modern workplace from a wide range of undesirable software. To protect our customers from the latest threats, massive amounts of security signals and threat intelligence from the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph are processed by security analysts and intelligent systems that identify malicious and other undesirable software. Our evaluation criteria describe the characteristics and behavior of malware and potentially unwanted applications and guide the proper identification of threats.


1)      Windows 10 Tip: Use Paint 3D to edit your snips.

In other news related to Windows 10…

Windows 10 News You Can Use – August 2018

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Win10NewsLogo Providing insights into Windows 10 deployment & management, security & compliance, and productivity.

On July 10th, Windows 10 version 1803 was declared as a fully available Semi-Annual Channel (aka CBB) release. Be sure to also review “What’s new for IT pros in Windows 10, version 1803” at

Deployment & Management

1)      Windows 10 quality updates explained & the end of delta updates. Beginning February 12, 2019 Microsoft will deprecate delta updates for all versions of Windows 10.  Learn about the role of Express Updates to reduce the impact to network delivery of quality updates.

2)      Forrester Study: Modernize Your Device Management Using the Cloud (whitepaper, updated June 2018).

3)      Detailed information on how Upgrade Readiness collects application inventory for your OMS workspace.  Includes info about data collection, appraiser updates, best practices, and troubleshooting!

4)      Most companies manage their PCs and mobile devices with separate management tools. In a recent report, Forrester found that Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) is now a more optimal option—and a good way to help organizations modernize their management strategies.  Download this Forrester report to learn more.

5)      Microsoft Mechanics’ 7-minute video which explores the latest capabilities in Windows Analytics across Upgrade Readiness, Update Compliance, and Device Health.

6)      Best practices and recommendations for deploying Windows 10 Feature updates to mission critical devices.

7)      Suggested in-depth guidance on Windows Update for Business policies and how they have changed over time.

8)      We are happy to announce that the MSIX Packaging Tool (Preview) is now available to from the Microsoft Store. MSIX Packaging Tool enables you to update your existing win32 application packages to the MSIX format.

Security & Compliance

1)      Windows Defender Antivirus (WDAV) scores in the March-April 2018 tests. In this new iteration of the transparency report, we continue to investigate the relationship of independent test results and the real-world protection of antivirus solutions. We hope that you find the report insightful.

2)      Introducing Web Authentication in Microsoft Edge.  With Web Authentication, Microsoft Edge users can sign in with their face, fingerprint, PIN, or portable FIDO2 devices, leveraging strong public-key credentials instead of passwords.

3)      Security Updates around side-channel speculative execution vulnerabilities (Spectre and Meltdown). New Disclosure: On June 13, 2018, an additional vulnerability involving side channel speculative execution, known as Lazy FP State Restore, was announced and assigned CVE-2018-3665. For more information about this vulnerability and recommended actions, please refer to the Security Advisory: ADV180016 | Microsoft Guidance for Lazy FP State Restore.

4)      A new software supply chain attack unearthed by Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (Windows Defender ATP) emerged as an unusual multi-tier case. Unknown attackers compromised the shared infrastructure in place between the vendor of a PDF editor application and one of its software vendor partners, making the app’s legitimate installer the unsuspecting carrier of a malicious payload. The attack seemed like just another example of how cybercriminals can sneak in malware using everyday normal processes. The plot twist: The app vendor’s systems were unaffected. The compromise was traceable instead to a second software vendor that hosted additional packages used by the app during installation. This turned out be an interesting and unique case of an attack involving “the supply chain of the supply chain”.

5)      Hawkeye Keylogger – Reborn v8: An in-depth campaign analysis.  Includes the roles that Windows Defender Antivirus and Windows Defender ATP played in the security protections.


1)      Windows 10 Tip: Yikes, stop that sound! Mute-a-tab in Microsoft Edge.

2)      Windows 10 Tip: Get more out of reading online with Grammar Tools in Microsoft Edge.

3)      Windows 10 Tip: Windows Ink directly in textbox.

4)      Windows 10 Tip: Try reading on a full screen for a distraction-free experience in Microsoft Edge.

In other news related to Windows 10…

Resources for Windows Autopilot

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Similar to last month’s post on resources for Windows Analytics, I’m often also asked for a collection of useful resources on Windows Autopilot.  With that said, most of these are just cumulatively pulled from my monthly Windows 10 “news you can use”.

Other resources related to Windows Autopilot when using Microsoft Intune.