Automatically switching the Windows Firewall profile on Azure AD joined devices

This new year starts with short blog post about another nice configuration addition to Windows. Starting with the latest release of Windows 11, it’s now possible to make the Windows Firewall aware of the location of the device. That maybe sounds a bit more than what it actually is. The idea is that it enables Windows to check if it’s on a domain connected network, based on the accessibility of one or more URLs. When one of the URLs is available, Windows will switch the Windows Firewall profile to domain. When none of the URLs are available, Windows will work how it always worked and in general simply rely on the public profile. That behavior enables IT administrators to configure specific firewall exclusions, only when …

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Easily managing Cloud PCs

The last few weeks were all about getting started with Windows 365 Enterprise Cloud PCs and Microsoft Dev Box. And especially for Windows 365 Enterprise also looking at the main different configuration options. As both are based on the same foundation, the result of both is a Cloud PC that is automatically enrolled and managed by Microsoft Intune. That automatic enrollment makes sure that it’s very easy to get started with managing Cloud PCs. By automatically enrolling into Microsoft Intune, all the standard Windows device management capabilities are also available for Cloud PCs. That means: device configurations, device compliance, application deployment, update management and reporting. This post provides a quick overview of the options that become available for easily managing Cloud PCs and that are …

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Getting started with Microsoft Dev Box

The last couple of blog post were all about getting starting with Windows 365 Enterprise Cloud PC. The first blog post, after a nice vacation, had to continue in that area. Just with a twist. This week all about Microsoft Dev Box. Microsoft Dev Box is now in preview and is a new managed service provided by Microsoft that builds on the strong foundation of Windows 365. That new managed service enables developers to create on-demand, high-performance, secure, ready-to-code, project-specific workstations in the cloud. The best part of it is that it enables developers to create their own dev boxes, within the provided technical and financial limits. The idea of this post is to show how IT administrators provide the technical framework, how development teams …

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Device compliance for Windows 365 Enterprise Cloud PCs

This week is a short follow-up on my posts of the last couple of weeks about getting started with Windows 365 Enterprise. One of the items that was not specifically addressed is device compliance. In general it would be great to address Cloud PCs like any other laptop or desktop within the organization. There are, however, some differences to keep in mind and that might require organizations to use a slightly adjusted configuration for Cloud PCs. One of the main reason for that could be disk encryption. This post will address how disk encryption is different for Cloud PCs and also how other hardening features are similar for Cloud PCs. Besides that, this post will provide an easy method to work with exceptions for Cloud …

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Getting started with Windows 365 Enterprise using a custom image

The last couple of weeks were mainly focused on getting started with Windows 365 Enterprise. Mainly focused on the networking configurations and join types of Cloud PCs. This week the focus will go to the more advanced imaging options. When looking specifically at Windows 11, the available Gallery image only contains the Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise. In some scenarios that might not be sufficient and some tuning and additional apps are required. In those cases, it’s always possible to rely on a custom image. An image that is based on the same starting point, but tuned to be a better fit for that specific scenario. This post will go through a simple process for creating an image based on an Azure Virtual Machine (VM), …

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Getting started with Windows 365 Enterprise using an Azure Network Connection

This week is a follow-up on last week. Last week was about Windows 365 Enterprise in its simplest form, while this week will be about the more advanced networking forms of Windows 365 Enterprise. In other words, the different options of the Azure network connections and what it brings to Cloud PCs. For a quick introduction about Cloud PCs in its simplest form, with a Microsoft hosted network connection, have a look at that previous post. The more advanced networking connections enable organizations to create a connection with an on-premises environment. That on-premises environment can be an environment running in Azure, or an environment running in any datacenter. As long as it’s connected. The idea of this post is to provide the basics around the …

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Getting started with Windows 365 Enterprise using a Microsoft Hosted Network

This week is not about something totally new, but it is about something that really deserves a place on this blog. It’s all about Windows 365 Enterprise. More specifically, Windows 365 Enterprise in its simplest form, in a Microsoft Hosted Network. Windows 365 Enterprise is a cloud-service provided by Microsoft that will automatically create Windows virtual machines (a.k.a. Cloud PCs) for licensed users. A very straight forward method to provide users with a personal PC from the cloud (a.k.a. Cloud PC). It combines the strengths of different Microsoft products by relying on Microsoft Endpoint Manager for management, by relying on Azure AD for identity and access control and by relying on Azure Virtual Desktop for remote connectivity. The idea of this post is to provide …

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