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Microsoft is progressing quickly! – SkyDrive Pro updated to 25GB and improved sharing – via @BasvanKaam

I must say this once again, Microsoft looks to be on the right track when it comes to getting back as one strong supplier of services in the future/present “BYOD” world. As I wrote in my post #Microsoft – On the right track! – #Windows, #BYOD, #Citrix now Microsoft is actually targeting to solve many of the gaps that we see with today services for BYOx scenarios. For instance how to manage what you want on top of the device (Azure, Intune, SkyDrive, Work Folders etc…) in a controllable fashion and not a full managed device that costs you a fortune to manage… and ShareFile, Box and others are great solutions that have many features that SkyDrive doesn’t have. But there is one thing that they all lack (or please enlighten me!!):

Encryption at rest on Windows, OS X and Linux OS’s/distributions, here all providers are leaning on that you already have hard drive encryption like BitLocker etc. But who manages that then? Can you then say that your service is “BYOD-compliant”? I wouldn’t say so… It’s not only SmartPhones and Tablet devices that we loose… but here Microsoft and SkyDrive may be the first to come with encryption on at least Windows 8.1 devices and somewhat manageable…

But again back to the announcement from Microsoft and SkyDrive:

Microsoft announced today that it is giving business users more storage space and a better way to share files across multiple devices. As first reported by TechCrunch, through its SkyDrive Pro accounts, employees will now receive 25GB of storage to start out with, a sharp increase from 7GB — and even this capacity can be increased to 50GB or even 100GB. Additionally, using SkyDrive’s Shared with Me view, users can share files with their friends and co-workers securely and in real-time.

According to Microsoft Senior Product Managers Mark Kashman and Tejas Mehta, the new storage space limits will be available for both new and existing customers.

This certainly makes the service standout among its competitors, namely Dropbox and Box. It was only about a week or so ago when the latter heralded in the launch of a new pricing plan aiming to increase the number of small businesses using its service. For personal users, Box also wound up doubling the amount of free storage they received.

Here’s how you can figure out the overall storage for each user:

With Office 365, you get 25 GB of SkyDrive Pro storage + 25 GB of  email storage + 5 GB for each site mailbox you create + your total available tenant storage, which for every Office 365 business customer starts at 10 GB + (500 MB x # of user(s)1).

While Dropbox, Box, and Hightail certainly are some of the popular services out there today, SkyDrive isn’t something to be trifled with either. Through its integration with the Surface, Windows Phone, and other Microsoft products, along with iOS and Android devices, it has the potential to be a very powerful service.

As for the new sharing feature, just like you would perhaps see in Google Drive or any other cloud storage service, SkyDrive Pro is now offering a Shared with Me view that lets you take a shared document and view, edit, re-share, download, and more — all as if it were in your own storage bin.

1106.SDP shared with me 2.png 550x0 Microsoft updates SkyDrive Pro for businesses, now with 25GB of space, better file sharing, and more

But Microsoft isn’t stopping there, as it is adding several minor, but interesting enhancements to SkyDrive. The company has also increased the overall file upload limit to its SharePoint Online service to 2GB per file. Files placed into the recycle bin will now remain…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

A look at Work Folders – #Microsoft, #WorkFolders, #MIM, #BYOD – via @STEALTHPUPPY

This is an interesting new feature by Microsoft. I’ve touched upon the topic in my earlier post: #Microsoft – On the right track! – #Windows, #BYOD, #Citrix

And here you have another good blog post from Aaron Parker around the topic!

Microsoft announced some interesting new features in Windows Server 2012 R2 at TechEd 2013 and one of those that piqued my interest is Work Folders. I’m not the biggest fan of Redirected Folders and Offline files, but it’s essentially the only enterprise solution Microsoft provides today for taking your data offline. Microsoft needs to provide a completely new method of syncing file data – one that is designed for todays use cases and computing environment.

Work Folders is a brand new direction for enabling access to data in offline scenarios, along the lines of Citrix ShareFile and Dropbox, but without the web and sharing features. Like most Microsoft OS features, Work Folders is tied to a specific release of Windows; however according to this Channel 9 video, Microsoft will release Work Folders for Windows 7, iOS and “other devices” (presumably Android). This is excellent news.

Here’s a short look at setting up and connecting to Work Folders using the preview releases of Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 – what’s version 1.0 going to deliver?

Server Configuration

For a more detailed walkthrough on deploying Work Folders, download this document: Windows Server 2012 R2: Enabling Windows Server Work Folders.

Work Folders is a component of the File and Storage Services role in Windows Server. I’ve installed Windows Server 2012 R2 into a virtual machine and am using local storage.

WorkFolders-InstallRole

Once installed, Work Folders is managed through Server Manager:

WorkFolders-ServerManager

Creating a new sync share is performed via a wizard which will first ask where the Sync Share will be located. This can be a new folder or an existing share – mixing user home drives and Work Folders should be possible. Note that at this time, Work Folders only supports providing users with exclusive access to Sync Share location – there is no provision for providing access to shared data. Read more…

#Windows 8.1’s #BYOD enhancements ready for business adoption – via @kenhess

This is actually great news and a great article by Ken Hess! Microsoft is finally understanding the new BYOD use cases and scenarios! Interesting reading…

Summary: Microsoft understands, better than any other software company, that BYOD is actually a thing. It’s a thing to be dealt with at the source, which is exactly what they’re doing.

Everyone has weighed in on Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 update due at the end of the month, but few have highlighted the finer points of this significant update. Personally, I see Windows 8.1 as the new business operating system for desktop computing. Microsoft has listened to its critics and has made some super improvements on its much-beleagured new operating system.

Some of the more exciting improvements come in the form of BYOD enhancements. I believe that it is these features that will propel Windows 8.x onto corporate desktop systems and out of critical oblivion.

Excerpt from Stephen L. Rose’s Springboard Blog on Windows.com.

B.Y.O.D (Bring Your Own Device) Enhancements

  • Workplace Join – A Windows 8 PC was either domain joined or not. If it was a member of the domain, the user could access corporate resources (if permissioned) and IT could control the PC through group policy and other mechanisms. This feature allows a middle ground between all or nothing access, allowing a user to work on the device of their choice and still have access to corporate resources. With Workplace Join, IT administrators now have the ability to offer finer-grained control to corporate resources. If a user registers their device, IT can grant some access while still enforcing some governance parameters on the device to ensure the security of corporate assets.
  • Work Folders – Work Folders allows a user to sync data to their device from their user folder located in the corporation’s data center. Files created locally will sync back to the file server in the corporate environment. This syncing is natively integrated into the file system. Note, this all happens outside the firewall client sync support. Previously, Windows 8 devices needed to be domain joined (or required domain credentials) for access to file shares. Syncing could be done with 3rd party folder replication apps. With Work Folders, Users can keep local copies of their work files on their devices, with automatic synchronization to your data center, and for access from other devices. IT can enforce Dynamic Access Control policies on the Work Folder Sync Share (including automated Rights Management) and require Workplace Join to be in place.
  • Open MDM- While many organizations have investments with System Center and will continue to leverage these investments we also know that many organizations want to manage certain classes of devices, like tablets and BYOD devices, as mobile devices. With Windows 8.1, you can use an OMA-DM API agent to allow management of Windows 8.1 devices with mobile device management products, like Mobile Iron or Air Watch .
  • NFC tap-to-pair printing – Tap your Windows 8.1 device against an NFC-enabled printer and you’re all set to print without hunting on your network for the correct printer. You also 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 any Wi-Fi enabled printer.
  • Native Miracast wireless display – Present your work wirelessly with no connection cords or dongles needed; just pair with project to a Miracast-enabled projector through Bluetooth or NFC and Miracast will use Wi-Fi to let you project wire-free.
  •  Mobile Device Management – When a user enrolls their device, they are joining the device to the Windows Intune management service. They get access to the Company Portal which provides a consistent experience for access to their applications, data and to manage their own devices. This allows a deeper management experience with existing tools like Windows Intune. IT administrators now have more comprehensive policy management for Windows RT devices, and can manage Windows 8.1 PCs as mobile devices without having to deploy a full management client.
  • Web Application Proxy – The Web Application Proxy is a new role service in the Windows Server Remote Access role. It provides the ability to publish access to corporate resources, and enforce multi-factor authentication as well as apply conditional access policies to verify both the user’s identity and the device they are using…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

#ShareFile app for #Windows 8 – #Citrix, #BYOD

February 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Citrix leads the way with the new ShareFile app for Windows 8

Users are excited about tablets and the market is growing rapidly. With Windows 8, Microsoft is providing a great tablet OS as well as their own hardware in the Microsoft Surface RT and Surface Pro. This article from CIO indicates that a Forrester survey showed that 32% of users want their next work tablet to run Windows.

Citrix is bringing easy file sharing to the latest version of Windows. If you are one of those users looking to get a tablet running Windows 8 or if you have a laptop/desktop running Windows 8, we now have multiple ways to leverage ShareFile on Windows 8 with the introduction of the new ShareFile app in the Windows Store. This app provides a full-screen experience on Windows 8 for accessing ShareFile and integrates directly with the new Windows 8 charm bar for OS-level integration with the Search, Share, and Settings charms. Of course, we included support for the great device security features like remote wipe and users can login with their AD credentials. The app also supports these great features:

  • Browse your account
  • Download and view documents
  • Request and send files via email
  • Transfer big files
  • Add users to folders on your ShareFile account
  • Offline access to view downloaded files
  • For Enterprise accounts, users will be able to access their data using their corporate credentials
  • IT administrators will be able to control and audit access

Check out a video of the app in action on YouTube. More details…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Windows utilities and tools, accessible from the web. – #Windows, #SysInternals

January 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Ok, yet another little “old school” tip of the day! I was troubleshooting a setup and really needed to troubleshoot a process and what it was doing. And nowadays you don’t have to install the tools etc on the box! Yes, you can run it straight from the web if needed and most of the tools you need daily from a windows perspective are either installable easily on the box without a hazzle or you can run them from here;

http://live.sysinternals.com

Sysinternals Live

Sysinternals Live is a service that enables you to execute Sysinternals tools directly from the Web without hunting for and manually downloading them. Simply enter a tool’s Sysinternals Live path into Windows Explorer or a command prompt as http://live.sysinternals.com/<toolname&gt; or \\live.sysinternals.com\tools\<toolname>.

You can view the entire Sysinternals Live tools directory in a browser at http://live.sysinternals.com.

Read more…

Windows Embedded 8 and Windows Embedded Compact 2013 – #Windows 8

January 14, 2013 Leave a comment

Windows Embedded Standard 8 Release Preview available for testing, with general availability scheduled for March 2013.

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 13, 2012 — Microsoft today unveiled its product road map for Windows Embedded 8 and Windows Embedded Compact 2013, both of which build on thecompany’s vision for intelligent systems first announced last fall. Microsoft also made the Windows Embedded 8 Standard release preview available for download.

Microsoft is committed to helping harness the potential of the Internet of Things by connecting devices to software and services in the back end or in the cloud, transforming that data into actionable operational intelligence. In describing the opportunity, Windows Embedded General Manager Kevin Dallas calls out Microsoft’s “big transition” from being a software company to a devices and services company.

“Faced with the explosion of business data, enterprises are looking for better alternatives to help them unlock the information inside,” Dallas says. “Microsoft’s broad set of technologies and products make it uniquely qualified to help address this problem. We’re working with our partners to create solutions that extend across the full breadth of Microsoft technologies and provide customers with the clarity they need to harness big data.”

The release schedule includes the Windows Embedded 8 family of device operating systems, each with a distinct feature set that includes the building blocks for an intelligent system across hardware, software and services.

Windows Embedded 8 is the family of device operating systems….

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Win RT jailbroken to run 3rd party Desktop apps – #Windows, #RT, thx @brianmadden

It was only a matter of time: Windows RT has been hacked to allow non-Microsoft applications to run in Desktop. Prior to this hack, your Windows RT tablet (such as the Surface RT) could only run Metro apps, a special, touch-oriented version of Office… and that’s it. Now, in theory, you can run any Desktop app on Windows RT [See: What is Windows RT?]

The hack, performed by Clokr, exploits a vulnerability in the Windows kernel that has existed for a long time — since before Microsoft ported Windows from x86 to ARM, in fact. Basically, the Windows kernel on your computer is configured to only execute files that meet a certain level of authentication. There are four levels: Unsigned (0), Authenticode (4), Microsoft (8), and Windows (12). On your x86 Windows system, the default setting is Unsigned — you can run anything you like. With Windows RT, the default, hard-coded setting is Microsoft (8); i.e. only apps signed by Microsoft, or parts of Windows itself, can be executed.

Continue reading here!

//Richard

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