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 …

Read more

Easily managing Universal Print printers on Windows 11 devices

This week is al about Microsoft Universal Print. Not, however, about the concept, the connectors, the printers, or the printer shares. Just about the configuration, via Microsoft Intune, on Windows devices. And in particular, at this moment, Windows 11 devices. Windows 11 devices now contain the UniversalPrint CSP that can be used to easily configure Universal Print printers on Windows devices. That replaces the existing Universal Print printer provisioning tool and provides a direct configuration (and integration) option with Microsoft Intune. Based on the provided configurations it retrieves the required printer information from the Universal Print service and installs the printer on the Windows device. This post will go through the available settings in the UniversalPrint CSP and the configuration via Microsoft Intune. Important [Updated: 16-08-22]: Eventually …

Read more

Getting started with Device Control Printer Protection

This week is a follow-up on an earlier post about controlling devices connected to Windows devices. That post was focussed on device control as a feature of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, in general. This post will specifically focus on Device Control Printer Protection. Device Control Printer Protection is the printer protection feature that can be used to prevent users from printing via non-corporate network printers or non-approved USB-printers. That adds an additional layer of data protection and security. This post will look in more detail at the printer protection configuration options, at applying printer protection and at the experience with printer protection enabled (the user experience and the administrator experience). Note: The configuration options (protect) are available within a Microsoft 365 E3 license and the …

Read more

Getting started with Azure Monitor agent on Windows client devices

This week is about something totally different compared to the last weeks and maybe even months. There have been examples before about gathering additional data of Windows devices and using that information for dashboards and more. Those examples were mainly focused on existing data and custom scripting. This time the focus is on the Azure Monitor agent for Windows client devices. A few months ago Microsoft introduced the Windows client installer that can be used to collect data from desktops, workstations and laptops, in addition to the already existing options for servers and virtual machines. It enables the collection of Event Logs, Performance Counters and more. That could be useful with for example the introduction of AppLocker, to gather events about the behavior of apps. …

Read more

Easily installing Progressive Web Apps

This week is not something completely new, but more something nice to be aware of. This week is all around Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and easily and automatically installing them on Windows devices. The great thing about a PWAs is that they’re basically websites that are enhanced to function like installed, native apps on supporting platforms, while functioning like regular websites on other browsers. That provides a great cross-platform experience. On Windows devices, PWAs can actually be installed like a native app and in some ways even behave like native apps. That provides a really powerful experience. With Microsoft Edge basically any website can be installed as an app. The behavior depends on the capabilities of the website. A nice add-on to that is that the …

Read more

Verifying installed applications as part of the compliance of Windows devices

This week is focused on the installed applications on Windows devices. More specifically, this week is focused on making sure that Windows devices are compliant with a list of unapproved apps. There are many methods for making sure that users won’t or can’t install specific apps on their Windows device. That could be by simply making sure that users don’t have the permissions to install apps and lock down their Windows devices, but that could also be by verifying the installed apps on their Windows devices. This post will focus on the latter, by comparing the installed apps with a list of unapproved apps. That can be achieved by using custom compliance settings. A few months ago I wrote about working with custom compliance settings. That …

Read more

Protecting important folders with controlled folder access

This week is all about controlled folder access. Not something particular new, but something important to be familiar with. Controlled folder access is a great addition to further minimize the attack surface of Windows devices. It helps protect the data in the controlled folders from malicious apps and threats, by checking apps against a list of known, trusted apps. That makes it a perfect addition to further protect the (corporate) data on Windows devices. That also makes it mainly a local security feature. To get detailed reporting information, it can be used with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. This post will mainly focus on the local configuration of controlled folder access and the user experience. Introducing controlled folder access Controlled folder access is a great method …

Read more

Further simplifying management of the Google Chrome browser on Windows devices

This week is all about further simplifying management of the Google Chrome browser on Windows devices. The configuration of the Google Chrome browser was already possible by ingesting ADMX-files, by using PowerShell, or by using Chrome Browser Cloud Manager, but the IT administrator was always in for a sub-optimal experience. It was either a lot of work (when looking at ADMX-files), or it provided limited reporting capabilities (when using PowerShell), or it was a completely separate solution (Chrome Browser Cloud Manager). Non of those were optimal. The great thing is that with the latest service release of Microsoft Intune (2203), the Settings Catalog (and the Administrative Templates) now also include settings for the Google Chrome browser. That enables the IT administrator to simply use the …

Read more

Allowing users to opt-in for Windows Insider Preview Builds

This week is all about providing users with a method to deliberately opt-in for running Windows Insider Preview Builds. That option to opt-in is created by using an access package. That makes this post basically a combination between an earlier post about allowing users to opt-in for Windows 11 and an earlier post about managing Windows Insider Preview Builds. By default, many organizations prevent users from simply enabling and using Windows Insider Preview Builds. Often the main reason is to prevent unpredicted and unwanted issues from happening on the devices of users. Using an access package makes sure that the user consciously chooses to use Windows Insider Preview Builds, possibly in combination with the approval of a manager and in combination with sharing information in …

Read more

Using update status as part of the compliance of Windows devices

This week is focused on the update status of Windows devices. More specifically, this week is focused on making sure that Windows devices can only be compliant when running the latest cumulative update. Within a device compliance policy, it was already possible to specify a specific Windows version. That, however, is a manual action. Over and over again. That can be achieved easier nowadays. A few months ago I wrote about working with custom compliance settings. That enables the ability to add custom scripting to device compliance policies. Custom scripting basically means that anything is possible. Including the check on the update status. This post will show how to leverage that functionality with a small custom script to check for the update status of the …

Read more