Windows 10 Enterprise IE11

November 6, 2016

 

Hello,

Windows 10 is great but there are some annoyances in an enterprise environment discovered. For example we deploy the Windows 10 to an environment where IE11 is the standard browser so we don’t want to confuse the user with the default edge icon.

You know this one

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We can set the default browser and file type associations on a reference machine and export them by using dism /online

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And we can import the again using the same toolset, no problem here.

But as soon as a user logs in a windows 10 device he/she gets a default profile and gets the edge and store icon attached to the quicklaunch bar.

Now there are several solutions for this :

-> We can script ( but we don’t want to do that , it starts simple but it ends up being a complete bible )

-> We can modify the default user profile ( copyprofile setting in unattend.xlm doesn’t add the quicklaucnh icons so this would be hardcoded in our default user profile, we don’t like that either)

-> We can use preferences ( it can be centrally managed and we can modify afterwards, not perfect we’ll explain but this is the best option for me )

What do we need :

Well actually 3 things , you’ll see that if you manually modify the quicklaunch bar and add icons to it using the explorer like this ( pin to taskbar Option )

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There are 2 modifications : first a change in registry ( HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Explorer\Taskband ) and second a link file that is created in %appdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar)

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So we’ll create a preference that performs the required actions :

Step 1:

Copy the icons of Office 2013 to the quicklaunch location

 

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Copy them from the default startmenu location to the quicklaunch.

Step2 :

Create the shortcut for iexplore (X86 )

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Step 3 :

Import the required registry keys

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Et voila … Correct quicklaunch icons set.

Now we use an item level targetting so the settings only apply @ a windows 10 device because we have a mixed environment. Now the goal is to use the set once and do not reapply for these settings so they are only applied once but we noticed that when a user gets a new profile the registry settings are not applied the first time so we had to abandon that idea meaning the quicklaunch icons cannot be modified by the user as during logoff/logon they will be back set to default.

We have a call open to investigate the issue further.

Enjoy

Gino D

 

Update better ways available since 1607 : https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/itpro/windows/manage/configure-windows-10-taskbar

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Endurance test Revolve 810

October 19, 2016

 

Hello,

Looking back I was very enthusiastic when I first recieved my HP Elitebook Revolve 810 ( 1st generation ).

This was way back in 2013 and a number ( read a lot ) of similar devices have been rolling into the market since then.

But let’s have a look at how the revolve looks now after over 3 years of intense use. And I mean intense as the device travels with me each day to a customer site and back.

The exterior :

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-> Some edges show some chipped pieces but no “real” damage

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-> Some minor scratches on the front due to “heavy” usage

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-> It is still a catchy, elegant and stable device

So overall the device holds out ok.

The interior :

-> Well even according to today’s standards the device still performs ok, Windows 10 was a big improvement in terms of battery usage and even day to day operations like office perform faster compared to Windows 8.

-> I mainly use it in laptop mode, occasionally I read some items in tablet mode.

-> I use the mobile broadband connection quite a lot, the wireless projection to devices from time to time.

-> I don’t really use a stylus, somehow I prefer typing in onenote over writing with a pen.

The rest :

-> I boot using UEFI, secure boot and the device is encrypted by bitlocker.

-> For now it is Azure ad connected and I log on using my company credentials although that’s not really device related.

-> 2 available USB ports are a minimum but at certain sites I use external display, usb docking keyboard and mouse.

-> I update HP drivers and firmware regularly using HP utilities

The issues :

-> Well there were some issues with the fan. Now this is a “known” issue with this model so the fan was replaced and together with the latest chipset this has improved the spinning noise of the cooling a lot.

http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebook-Hardware-and-Upgrade-Questions/HP-Revolve-810-Noisy-Fan/td-p/5063770

What I would like to see added :

-> Some kind of biometric authentication ( fingerprint or Windows hello capable camera )

-> more energy efficient processor or more battery power , no matter how much battery you have you always run out at a bad time 🙂

Enjoy

Gino D


Quid Pro Quo EMS

September 14, 2016

Hello,

Quid Pro Quo …or in the words of Austin Powers : Squid Pro Quo, meaning “a feavour for a feavour”. From the corporate ICT’s perspectieve this translates to : we provide additional services that you can use whenever, wherever but … We need to have some information about the location and device before we do that.

Sounds good … Let’s take a popular cloud service like mail/calendar or cloud storage as an example.

What might be a good compromise :

We’ll provide you access to onedrive for business but … We like to make sure the device is locally encrypted , has a minimum of security applied to it and is not jailbroken.

And we provide you with a single sign on experience on your corporate machines but require some kind of multi factor authentication on BYOD.

Let’s see how we could do this. You’ll need active directory Premium to start with this.

First we open our admin center -> Azure AD -> Domain -> and use the applications tab

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Now we’ll continue for the Sharepoint online service and configure it.

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Now we’ll activate the MFA for a sepcific Office 365 security group of users and request MFA only when the user is not in a “work” location.

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You’ll need to define what work locations are by clicking the link . So first we’ll go for the scenario when we require MFA when the user is not @ Work.

Additional info can be found here : https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/active-directory-conditional-access-azuread-connected-apps/?rnd=1

So we’ll define the work locations in this case based on ip / subnet combination.

Now if I logon to the onedrive from my machine in that ip subnet -> we expect no MFA

Unfortunately I kept on recieving the Additional verification box …

BTW : the Microsoft Authenticator App is simply a great tool !

No more hassles with copy/paste of codes through sms or applications. The app simply allows you to approve or deny the authentication request.

Install the app -> link your account by scanning a QR code ( use myapss.microsoft.com )

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And approve or deny

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Great functionality there … But back to the subject … Why do I require MFA now ? …

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Now if I modified the trusted IP range with my external IP address recieved from my ISP ( as my Wifi router is of course using NATting )

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Bingo ! No MFA request …

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While if I do this from another machine -> I recieve the request for MFA.

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Okay now let’s go one step further and deny access if not @ work.

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Now let’s see the result if we try to connect on a not @ Work location machine.

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Yes ! No access …

So overall this is some great functionality , MFA is not a on/off scenario and we can have a granular implementation per service and define different settings per location.

We can select to force MFA when not on work location or simply block access completely. It’s clear that cloud first mobile first is really on track.

Next up : device based access rules.

Enjoy.

Gino D


Teamviewer in Intune

September 8, 2016

Hello,

Since the beginning of the computer era , endusers require support, preferably on site with some coffee and chocolates to go. But reality is remote using some kind of tool that allows remote control.

Windows 8 and above lack that functionality with windows intune, not the fault of Intune but something proper to the OSE itself.

Now we can integrate cloud service 1 ( Intune ) with cloud service 2 ( Teamviewer ) for remote assistance. Great ! Let’s see how it goes.

First we need to activate the teamviewer functionality in Intune.

Check out Administrator -> Teamviewer -> Activate

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Now follow the wizard as it will guide you through the creation of a user with the required service and allows the creation of a trial account for testing.

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Now let’s pretend to be a needy user on a Windows 10 anniversary update build so he/she opens the intune portal and requests assistance

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Now we ( the admin ) actually the same person 🙂 sees the alert in the intune admin console

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Now we can immediately start the session from the console …

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Teamviewer software is being downloaded and installed

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And request validation is launched on the client machine

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After installation connection is created automatically

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The user grants access …

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… Et voila we have client side to see who is taking control …

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… And the admin side for helping out our customer.

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You can perform some more advanced actions like blank screen on user side, block input, lock screen etc.

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And you recieve a free word of advice from and a pat on the back from Teamviewer ! We (always) play it fair.

So there you have it, easy and simple but a world of difference for our connected enduser.

Enjoy

Gino D


Add URL to customized Windows 10 Start Menu

September 1, 2016

Hi,

Since more and more of our customers are adopting Windows 10 in their environment we start to learn more tricks every day.

An important component of Windows 10 is the start menu. Administrators could apply a default startmenu layout for all users by using a GPO but downside of this approach is that the user isn’t able to add any custom applications himself. That’s why I prefer to set the startlayout during the Windows 10 deployment task sequence using a Powershell script.

Afterwards the default layout is set when the user first logs in, from then on the user can edit his start menu as he likes. Adding “classical” applications such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint is quite easy as those applications are already present when the user first logs in. Adding a shortcut to a website might be a little bit harder, in this post I’ll be explaining the steps that need to be taken to accomplish this. It’s a combination of Powershell, SCCM  (also applicable for MDT) and Group Policy Preferences. Let’s get started

First of all start by customizing the start menu as you like on a test machine. The start menu I want is the one shown below. We’ll be focusing on the highlighted icon in the start menu as this is a URL, other shortcuts are applications.

Screenshot_1

When the start layout is finished, launch powershell and execute the following command to export the startlayout:

Export-Startlayout -Path “C:\windows\temp\Startlayout.xml”

The XML generated looks as follows (text in bold is related to the Citrix URL):

<LayoutModificationTemplate Version=”1″ xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/LayoutModification”&gt;
<LayoutOptions StartTileGroupCellWidth=”6″ />
<DefaultLayoutOverride>
<StartLayoutCollection>
<defaultlayout:StartLayout GroupCellWidth=”6″ xmlns:defaultlayout=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/FullDefaultLayout”&gt;
<start:Group Name=”Webbrowsers” xmlns:start=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout”&gt;
<start:DesktopApplicationTile Size=”2×2″ Column=”0″ Row=”0″ DesktopApplicationID=”Microsoft.InternetExplorer.Default” />
</start:Group>
<start:Group Name=”Office ” xmlns:start=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout”&gt;
<start:DesktopApplicationTile Size=”2×2″ Column=”2″ Row=”0″ DesktopApplicationID=”{7C5A40EF-A0FB-4BFC-874A-C0F2E0B9FA8E}\Microsoft Office\Office15\WINWORD.EXE” />
<start:DesktopApplicationTile Size=”2×2″ Column=”0″ Row=”0″ DesktopApplicationID=”Microsoft.Office.OUTLOOK.EXE.15″ />
<start:DesktopApplicationTile Size=”2×2″ Column=”0″ Row=”2″ DesktopApplicationID=”{7C5A40EF-A0FB-4BFC-874A-C0F2E0B9FA8E}\Microsoft Office\Office15\POWERPNT.EXE” />
<start:DesktopApplicationTile Size=”2×2″ Column=”2″ Row=”2″ DesktopApplicationID=”{7C5A40EF-A0FB-4BFC-874A-C0F2E0B9FA8E}\Microsoft Office\Office15\EXCEL.EXE” />
</start:Group>
<start:Group Name=”” xmlns:start=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout”&gt;
<start:DesktopApplicationTile Size=”2×2″ Column=”2″ Row=”0″ DesktopApplicationID=”Microsoft.SoftwareCenter.DesktopToasts” />
<start:DesktopApplicationTile Size=”2×2″ Column=”0″ Row=”0″ DesktopApplicationID=”Microsoft.Windows.ControlPanel” />
</start:Group>
<start:Group Name=”” xmlns:start=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/Start/2014/StartLayout”&gt;
<start:DesktopApplicationTile Size=”2×2″ Column=”0″ Row=”0″ DesktopApplicationID=”https://citrix.contoso.com&#8221; />
</start:Group>
</defaultlayout:StartLayout>
</StartLayoutCollection>
</DefaultLayoutOverride>
</LayoutModificationTemplate>

Now create an SCCM Package containing the XML file and a Powershell script with the following content:

Import-StartLayout -LayoutPath $PSScriptroot\StartLayout.xml -MountPath $env:systemdrive\

Now this can be executed using a Run Powershell Script during the SCCM OSD task sequence.

Without performing further actions when a user first logs in the start menu will be generated but the URL to citrix.contoso.com will not be present. To make sure it’s there we need to create a Group Policy Preference to put the exact URL in the start menu for the user. Pay close attention because the target URL specified in the GPP must EXACTLY match the value of DesktopApplicationID (without the “”)

Screenshot_2

Now when the user (for which the GPP is applied) logs on for the first time on a Windows 10 computer, the default Start layout will be applied properly and the URL will also appear.

Hope this helps!

 

Best regards,

Bert

 

 


EMS

August 15, 2016

Hello,

Empowerment of users is always great, we all want to be able to do some required actions when we want to, instead of logging requests and waiting for the actions to occur.

The Microsoft EMS is a combined set of cloud services wrapped up in one license formule. More info can be found here : https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloud-platform/enterprise-mobility. But today we focus on the olympic games in Rio 2016 self serivce group management and password reset.

First we need to enable the required features in Azure AD.

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Now add the test user to the required Azure groups and open https://myapps.microsoft.com

Now this user can create new security or office 365 groups ( depending on the group membershp above )

Now what’s really great is that we can delegate the group membership ( adding or removing users to the group ) to the group owners. We could also do this using AD and supply a users and computers mmc internally or use FIM but this is straight out of the box.

Let’s see how it looks.

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Now we can create a new group ( we’ll use an O365 group )

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Now we have set up this group to require owner approval, so in this case we can decide who can be a member.

So if we log on with another user ( with an EMS license ) , look for the group we can request access !

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Let’s join.

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And the owner can approve / deny,

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And the requested user can verify the status of his request using the same interface but my requests

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That’s it , great functionality for delegating the creation and the ownership of security or office 365 groups. Power to the users !

Enjoy.

Gino D.


Windows Store For Business

May 17, 2016

Hello,

Windows Store for business is an exciting new concept of a seperate Windows Store for business users. You log on with your corporate account and have access to commercial or LOB apps provided by your company.

https://businessstore.microsoft.com/en-gb/lob/AppDetails/

Let’s get started !

Log on as admin and invite a publisher, this allows that specific account to upload a universal application in order to be available in the Windows Store for company X. This should be a Microsoft Dev Account ( personal or Business, both work ).

High-level the process is as follows

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Now in this scenario we will only present the LOB by the Windows Store for business, you can however also deploy the app offline by using ESD or sync with a your MDM for deployment ( Intune ex. )

Additional info about these scenario’s can be found here https://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/itpro/windows/manage/manage-apps-windows-store-for-business-overview

After completing check your LOB publishers.

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Check the LOB publishers in order to verify the user is approved

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Now as soon as your publisher has uploaded his/her custom universal app and validation has succeeded it will be available in your store ( may take approx 48 hours !)

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48hours later … All right … app available.

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Now you can add the app to your inventoy …

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Now open Manage -> Inventory and you should see your universal app.

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Now add your app to the private store.

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Add in progress ( may take up to 24 hours )

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Wait for it ! Meanwhile you can see the mixture of personal and corporate account linked to the Windows Store. In my case I have multiple accounts added on my Azure AD joined machine so you’ll see both accounts. If I click a link in the normal, commercial store my hotmail account will be used, in a link from the Realdolmen store my corporate account will be used.

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Now let’s install the test app

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Yes installed !

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Now you as an admin can see the used license and recall if required, now this particular test app has unlimited licenses.

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Now we also observed that as soon as a new version of our universal app is uploaded to the store the application is updated without any notification / interaction from the user.

Enjoy.

Gino D