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Posts Tagged ‘Office’

#Amazon WorkSpaces – “#VDI” cloud service – #VDI, #BYOD

November 15, 2013 Leave a comment

This is an interesting offering from Amazon! I however don’t like that everyone talks about the “VDI” concept all the time.. this is based on Windows server with Desktop Experience and not a client OS.

Amazon WorkSpaces is a fully managed desktop computing service in the cloud. Amazon WorkSpaces allows customers to easily provision cloud-based desktops that allow end-users to access the documents, applications and resources they need with the device of their choice, including laptops, iPad, Kindle Fire, or Android tablets. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, customers can provision a high-quality desktop experience for any number of users at a cost that is highly competitive with traditional desktops and half the cost of most virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions.

WorkSpace Bundles

Amazon WorkSpaces offers a choice of service bundles providing different hardware and software options to meet your needs. You can choose from the Standard or Performance family of bundles that offer different CPU, memory, and storage resources, based on the requirements of your users. If you would like to launch WorkSpaces with more software already pre-installed (e.g., Microsoft Office, Trend Micro Anti-Virus, etc.), you should choose the Standard Plus or Performance Plus options. If you don’t need the applications offered in those bundles or you would like to use software licenses for some of the applications in the Standard Plus or Performance Plus options that you’ve already paid for, we recommend the Standard or Performance bundles. Whichever option you choose, you can always add your own software whenever you like.

WorkSpaces Bundle Hardware Resources Applications Monthly Price
Standard 1 vCPU, 3.75 GiB Memory, 50 GB User Storage Utilities (Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, 7-Zip, Adobe Flash, JRE) $35
Standard Plus 1 vCPU, 3.75 GiB Memory, 50 GB User Storage Microsoft Office Professional 2010, Trend Micro Anti-Virus, Utilities (Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, 7-Zip, Adobe Flash, JRE) $50
Performance 2 vCPU, 7.5 GiB Memory, 100 GB User Storage Utilities (Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, 7-Zip, Adobe Flash, JRE) $60
Performance Plus 2 vCPU, 7.5 GiB Memory, 100 GB User Storage Microsoft Office Professional 2010, Trend Micro Anti-Virus, Utilities (Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, 7-Zip, Adobe Flash, JRE) $75

All WorkSpaces Bundles provide the Windows 7 Experience to users (provided by Windows Server 2008 R2). Microsoft Office 2010 Professional includes Microsoft Excel 2010, Microsoft OneNote 2010, Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, Microsoft Word 2010, Microsoft Outlook 2010, Microsoft Publisher 2010 and Microsoft Access 2010.

Read more…

#BYOD + #Messaging + #Collaboration + #Data securely = How??

Yes, how do you solve this?

I’m running into this topic lately with a lot of people and customers….

It’s around the whole BYOD and unmanaged devices and how useful they are in an enterprise world and all the capabilities and way of working that you’re used to in a secure and still cost effective way (and let’s not forget in a USER FRIENDLY way)!

One question that I’ve not yet found an answer to is:

How do we have all offline capabilities needed for an “Office” worker on a BYOD in our enterprise landscape? How do we ensure that you can use our Messaging, Collaboration and Data/Info services on this totally unmanaged device in a SECURE way?

This is a tough challenge! I guess that most of your users are used to using the Office suite locally on their managed device where they can use Outlook offline, work with data/files in Excel and Word etc offline. But what happens if you tell them to use an unmanaged device or their own personal device of their choice?

All of a sudden there is no real good way of providing them with offline messaging and collaboration (Outlook Anywhere and Lync for instance) capabilities in a secure manner. This BYOD/unmanaged device is not a part of your AD, you have no control and cannot enforce anything! So Outlook that is installed on it may use your Outlook Anywhere service but then its data sits on that unmanaged device unencrypted and unsecured!

Overview_BYOD_Messaging_Outlook_Anywhere

Think of the picture above (yes I know it’s a mess but I just want to illustrate the issue), you have BYOD devices that are running Windows 7, XP, 8 etc and also Mac OS X. What if you open up your Outlook anywhere service to those devices, then all your emails etc. will be unsecured on them!

Citrix and others are focusing on providing this email capability in a secure manner on all mobile OS’s like iOS and Android etc through it’s Citrix Worx apps for mail and also the newly announced Hosted MobileMail. But these are more or less just targeted against mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), but what about the standard laptop users!?!?! They need something as well!

And Windows RMS and other solutions just wont fit very well here… Citrix XenVault was something that could have worked to enable offline support for corporate Messaging services but it’s not there… I’d like to run corporate apps locally on the device offline in a secure and controllable container!!

The same issue you have with Data!!!

ShareFile doesn’t support encryption on Windows or OS X!!!

But it does on mobile devices.. I guess you have to trust your users and BYOD devices that they are encrypted using BitLocker or FileVault etc…. but can you?

So please enlighten me here what the missing puzzle piece is!! Because I have a hard time taking away a managed device form a user and tell them that they on their BYOD device HAVE TO BE ONLINE TO WORK! It’s a step back from a usability and productiveness point of view… but it may be a cost saver though… but is a BYOD/unmanaged device and a VDI or Hosted Shared Desktop always a good option to provide business apps to that laptop? NO! I guess everyone have understood that making business apps and functions web-based or mobile app based is good and a lot of focus is there, but we cannot forget the traditional productive device that the laptop is!

If you know the magic solution to these challenges please let me know! 🙂

Cheers!

//Richard

Windows Azure Active Directory (AD) has reached General Availability!

April 9, 2013 1 comment

This is cool! And I think that it’s a great step in the right direction for many companies! 🙂

Windows Azure Active Directory

Windows Azure Active Directory (Windows Azure AD) is a modern, REST-based service that provides identity management and access control capabilities for your cloud applications. Now you have one identity service across Windows Azure, Microsoft Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online, Windows Intune and other 3rd party cloud services. Windows Azure Active Directory provides a cloud-based identity provider that easily integrates with your on-premises AD deployments and full support of third party identity providers.

Use Windows Azure AD to:

Integrate with your on-premises active directory

Quickly extend your existing on-premises Active Directory to apply policy and control and authenticate users with their existing corporate credentials to Windows Azure and other cloud services.

Offer access control for you applications

Easily manage access to your applications based on centralized policy and rules. Ensure consistent and appropriate access to your organizations applications is maintained to meet critical internal security and compliance needs. Windows Azure AD Access Control provides developers centralized authentication and authorization for applications in Windows Azure using either consumer identity providers or your on-premises Windows Server Active Directory

Build social connections across the enterprise

Windows Azure AD Graph is an innovative social enterprise graph providing an easy RESTful interface for accessing objects such as Users, Groups, and Roles with an explorer view for easily discovering information and relationships.

Provide single sign-on across your cloud applications

Provide your users with a seamless, single sign-on experience across Microsoft Online Services, third party cloud services and applications built on Windows Azure with popular web identity providers like Microsoft Account, Google, Yahoo!, and Facebook.

Read more about the service here!

Pricing

Access Control

Access Control is available at no charge. Historically, we have charged for Access Control based on the number of transactions. We are now making it a free benefit of using Windows Azure.

Directory

The base directory, Tenant, User & Group Management, Single Sign On, Graph API, Cloud application provisioning, Directory Synchronization and Directory Federation, is available at no charge. Certain additional capabilities such as Azure AD Rights Management will be available as a separately priced option.

Read more about pricing here!

//Richard

Google puts pressure on Microsoft, launches #Quickoffice for iPhone and Android

April 4, 2013 1 comment

This is interesting and Microsoft needs some competition for sure! Will have to test it and see how it works and how much of a real alternative to MS Office it is!

Computerworld – Google launched its Microsoft Office substitute, Quickoffice, for Apple’s iPhone, Android smartphones and Android tablets, fulfilling a promise made in December.

The release on Tuesday follows the launch of Quickoffice for Apple’s iPad late last year, when a Google executive said that iPhone and Android versions “are on the way.” The move was also preceded by a February announcement that Google was baking the Quickoffice technology into both its Chrome browser and Chrome OS.

Quickoffice for the iPhone

Quickoffice for the iPhone lets Google Apps for Business customers view, edit and create Word, PowerPoint and Excel (shown here) documents. (Image: Google.)

The search giant acquired Quickoffice in mid-2012 and rolled the firm’s development team into its Google Apps group. On the iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones and tablets, Quickoffice lets customers view, create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.

The new iOS and Android apps are available free to paying customers of Google Apps for Business, a cloud-based suite that costs $50 per user for a one-year subscription.

Customers that don’t subscribe to Google Apps can buy stand-alone apps — Quickoffice Pro for iPhones and Android smartphones, Quickoffice Pro HD for iPads and Android tablets — for $15 and $20, respectively.

Google also boasted that the new apps, as well as the December iPad app, which was updated Tuesday, are now more tightly tied to Google Drive, the search company’s online storage service…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

#Microsoft #Office 2013 lockdown aims to boost cloud services

February 19, 2013 Leave a comment

Microsoft Office 2013 lockdown aims to boost cloud services

If a computer dies, so does the Office license, unless you have enterprise deals

Microsoft has confirmed that a retail copy of Office 2013 is permanently tied to the first PC on which it’s installed, preventing customers from deleting the suite from one machine they own and installing it on another.

The move is a change from past Office end-user licensing agreements (EULAs), experts said, and is another way Microsoft is pushing customers, especially consumers, to opt for new “rent-not-own” subscription plans.

“That’s a substantial shift in Microsoft licensing,” said Daryl Ullman, co-founder and managing director of the Emerset Consulting Group, which specializes in helping companies negotiate software licensing deals. “Let’s be frank. This is not in the consumer’s best interest. They’re paying more than before, because they’re not getting the same benefits as before.”

Prior to Office 2013, which debuted last month, Microsoft’s EULA for retail copies of Office plainly stated that customers could reassign a license when, for example, they replaced an aged PC with a newer model, or the original machine gave out.

“You may reassign the license to a different device any number of times, but not more…

Continue reading here

//Richard

Good News: Office 365 ProPlus can be activated on RDS – #RDS, #XenApp, #Citrix

January 17, 2013 Leave a comment

This is interesting and good news!

Thanks for sharing Jesper_Osgaard!!!

In case you missed it – the latest Product Use Rights (january 2013) now includes a note under Additional Terms #3, page 82

“3. Each user may also use one of the five activations on a network server with the Remote Desktop Services (RDS) role enabled”

Note: Office 365 ProPlus is the upcoming version of Office 365

Source: Good News: Office 365 ProPlus can be activated on network server with RDS role enabled 

//Richard

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