David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small. I specialise in Windows Intune and SBS 2008.
This blog is purely the personal opinions of David Overton. If you can't find the information you were looking for e-mail me at admin@davidoverton.com.

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  • Does Windows Intune require an underlying operating system to load Windows 7 Enterprise Edition?

    I just saw this question being asked, so thought I would should with everyone: Question: “If I have a paid subscription to Windows Intune, do I need an existing Operating System to install the Windows 7 Enterprise license included with the subscription?” Answer: Yes – from the FAQ: What are the Windows 7 Enterprise upgrade rights included with Windows Intune? All of your managed PCs covered by Windows Intune may be upgraded to Windows 7 Enterprise as long as the qualifying OS is one of the following business editions of Windows: Business, Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise. The machines must also meet the Windows 7 system requirements. This list can be found at http://windows.microsoft.com/systemrequirements . In addition to Windows 7 upgrade rights, Windows Intune customers will also have rights to upgrade to future versions of Windows, as well as downgrade rights to older versions. As long as your subscription is active, you will have access to the best version of Windows for your business to standardize on, making your PC environment easier to manage. The operating system does not have to be Windows 7, but you do need a qualifying OS (XP Professional, Vista Business, Enterprise or Ultimate or Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate)   ttfn David
  • Upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 and manage the PC’s–Windows Intune did this for eLitigation Solutions and reduced IT spend by 30%

    Hi, I’ve just seen the case study on eLitigation solutions and how they did this and reduced costs by 30% in the process.  The case study can be found here .  Electronic Discovery Firm Reduces IT Costs by 30 Percent with Cloud-Based PC Management To meet its various business requirements, eLitigation Solutions needed a stable, well-monitored, and regularly updated PC environment, but the company also wanted to simplify and reduce the cost of managing its PCs. In 2011, eLitigation began using Windows Intune to manage, monitor, and update its PCs. Now the company has standardized its PC environment, enhanced security, and reduced PC costs by 30 percent. This was the problem: Most eLitigation employee PCs were still running the Windows XP operating system and the company wanted to upgrade its PCs to the Windows 7 Enterprise operating system. But at the same time, eLitigation needed to simplify and reduce the cost of managing its PC environment. The Solution: The company worked with InfinIT Consulting, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, to determine how it could use Windows Intune, a PC-management and security service from Microsoft, to monitor and update its PCs, provide endpoint protection, and standardize its operating environment. Because Windows Intune is based on cloud technology—remote computing resources delivered as services over the Internet—eLitigation could adopt the service without having to deploy or manage any new software or hardware. In 2011, InfinIT conducted a 30-day pilot at eLitigation with 10 subscriptions to Windows Intune, and at the end of the pilot, eLitigation began managing all of its employee PCs with Windows Intune. By using Windows Intune, InfinIT can help safeguard eLitigation PCs from malware with features built on the same Microsoft Malware Protection Engine used by the Microsoft Forefront Protection Suite. “By managing its PCs with Windows Intune, we can deliver a best-of-breed security solution to eLitigation so that it doesn’t wind up with malware running rampant...
  • Windows Intune feedback and support tools and useful blogs

    I’ve been reading and responding to the posts on the Windows Intune forums site and realised that I should share with everyone the support and feedback tools available for us.  These enable conversations with the support teams and input into the people making decisions about updates and major releases for Windows Intune.  The following sites are available: Support Forum Support for Windows Intune Microsoft Online Services support The forum has responses from the community as well as great Microsoft support people. This site provides resources to enable you to access support by phone and e-mail on technical, non-technical issues, Windows and MDOP This site provides the details for phone and support page access to help with the Microsoft Online Services Customer Portal (MOCP)   Feedback Windows Intune feedback This site provides free-form feedback to the Microsoft team, so not support issues, but product hits, misses and desires   I hope this helps you get more out of Windows Intune as well as the posts I make and others: David Overton’s site - http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/Windows+Intune/default.aspx James Evans’ blog - http://www.edutech.me.uk/category/intune/ Mike Resseler’s blog - http://scug.be/blogs/intune/archive/tags/Intune/default.aspx Jethro Seghers’ blog - http://jethroseghers.blogspot.com/search/label/Intune   ttfn David
  • Microsoft Windows Intune V2: Quickstart Administration book released

    Well, nearly 12 months after I started the project my book is now available to buy.  This book is relevant to the latest shipping version of Windows Intune 2.0. Chapters Overview of Cloud Computing Introduction to PC management concepts Overview of Windows Intune features Signing up for Windows Intune and installing the client software Configuring Windows Intune Configuring Management Policy Software Deployment Tracking and reporting Monitoring and responding to Windows Intune alerts Resolve problems using Microsoft DaRT Deploying Windows 7 Enterprise Edition Integration with existing Microsoft Products Purchasing the book Book and / or e-Book from publisher – Packt Publishing Book from Amazon –    Chapters in detail Chapter 1, Overview of Cloud Computing explores the new cloud computing and cloud-based services world that we are moving rapidly towards and includes Windows Intune. Before we can embark on this journey it is important that we understand the benefits and pitfalls that cloud services bring with them and how they apply to us. One mechanism to help protect us against the uncertainties is the use of Service Level Agreements, which are explained for Windows Intune. Chapter 2, Introduction to PC Management Concepts introduces the important concepts behind PC management, with a focus on ensuring that the needs of the business are the fundamental driver of the IT policy we implement with Windows Intune. We then explore how the IT policy decisions are taken to reflect these needs and are then able to demonstrate that they are delivering on them. Chapter 3, Overview of Windows Intune Features describes the features within Windows Intune, ensuring that we can take advantage of all of the benefits it has to offer, including anti-malware software, update management for both the Windows Operating System, and Windows applications, software distribution, system alerts and reporting. Chapter 4, Signing Up for Windows Intune and Installing the Client Software walks through the Microsoft Online Services...
  • Windows Intune Silent Application Deployment hints

    Windows Intune requires application deployment to be a silent (as in no user interaction) process.  Sometimes working out how to do this can be quite hard.  Richard at Windows Intunepedia has shared some information on this that I thought I would also share: Steps to Deploy Adobe Reader X with Windows Intune How to deploy Java 7 Runtime Environment (JRE) with Windows Intune You might also want to look at http://silentinstall.org/ which can help wrapper other installers to ensure they are silent.   ttfn David
  • Windows Intune and firewalls / proxies

    We had this question circulate around at work, so I wanted to share.  Window Intune needs access to the internet.  This means that the services need unhindered access to the internet.  While for most of us, once we are connected, we are connected, some firewall / proxy devices require extra information to be entered into a browser and this is something that Windows Intune cannot deal with. Luckily, Richard at Windows Intunepedia has written about this and quite some time ago .  The key elements are: Ports 80,443 will be needed for outgoing communications and the firewall / proxy must be as follows: If the client computers exist behind an authenticating proxy server, you must configure the proxy server as follows: 1. Confirm that the proxy server supports HTTP and HTTPS. 2. Enable either Non-auth or Negotiate (Kerberos) authentication methods on the proxy. If your proxy server is using the Negotiate (Kerberos) authentication method then you must configure it to allow authentication using computer accounts rather than user accounts . This is because the Windows Intune client agents run using the LocalSystem security context not that of a logged on user. If it is not possible for your proxy to be configured in this manner the agents will not be able to report to that Windows Intune service while they are behind that proxy. More can be found from Richard at   Thanks David
  • Windows Intune learning path–free training for Microsoft Partners

    Eric Ligman tweeted about the new partner learning paths, so I zipped over there to see these excellent items for Windows Intune . I’ve already done some of these, but it is a great way to get up to speed on Windows Intune and how to sell it.   ttfn David
  • Useful Windows Intune Documentation–What’s New Factsheet, Best Practices, Trial Guide and FAQ

    I saw this over e-mail at work today and thought I would share with you: - Factsheet (What’s new?) - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh452635.aspx - Best Practices (Deploying Software and Third Party Updates with Windows Intune)  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh441740.aspx - Trial Guide (View the complete Windows Intune Getting Started Guide) http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh441719.aspx - FAQ (Windows Intune: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ))  http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windowsintune/faq/default.aspx   ttfn David
  • Windows Intune Case Study - Ontario Systems, helping to prove Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard certification PC update reporting

    Ontario Systems is a larger Windows Intune reference with 350 employee PC’s to manage. They needed a better way to manage mobile computers and Windows Intune was the answer to their problems as it enabled them to manage these computers providing they were connected to the Internet and verify this management to enable PCI certification. The two most notable benefits (besides saving money) were: More control, better insight. With the ability to monitor PCs, distribute software and updates, and perform remote tasks from a single console, Ontario Systems has more control and better insight into its PC environment. The IT department will save up to an hour each time it delivers the software updates that employees need to work productively and securely. “Being able to use Windows Intune to issue a security update or remotely initiate a malware scan without interrupting our employees’ workday saves time for the IT staff and helps avoid hours of PC down time,” says Hughes. Better security compliance. By using Windows Intune to quickly produce detailed reports or grant security officers and outside auditors read-only access to the Windows Intune console, Ontario Systems will find it easier to comply with PCI data security standards. “We can produce security reports in minutes instead of half a day,” says Silverthorn. “And with read-only access to Windows Intune, auditors can run the reports they need by themselves, without tying up our IT staff for days at a time.” You can get the full case study material at Microsoft Case Study: Windows Intune - Ontario Systems .   ttfn David
  • Windows Intune Case Study - Sora Technologies

    Another case study of an IT partner using Windows Intune to manage themselves and their customers.  I liked this comment: If we had started with Windows Intune, we would have saved approximately $80,000,” says Adams. “Going forward, we expect to save 10% in labour costs because we don’t have to manage servers or write code, which would take one full-time equivalent. We can take care of our customers using fewer resources, which increases our profit margins.” You can find out more at Microsoft Case Study: Windows Intune - Sora Technologies . Other notable benefits include: I mproved endpoint protection. When Sora deployed Windows Intune, it saw an immediate improvement in endpoint protection. “Windows Intune beat all the endpoint security tools we’ve used, hands down,” says Adams. “We saw an increase of 50 percent in the number of viruses that the service caught, compared to our previous solution.” Better customer service. Sora provides its customers with monthly reporting and updates on hardware life cycles, so it is looking forward to using the enhanced reporting features in the latest version of Windows Intune. “ With Windows Intune, we can offer better hardware reports and use them in our monthly emails or customer meetings ,” says Adams. Increased business opportunities. Because Windows Intune is a cloud-based service, Sora can expand its reach to customers beyond its local area. “By offering Windows Intune, we hope to open doors to larger customers that need to manage their remote PCs,” says Adams. “Windows Intune and the Microsoft name will really resonate with enterprise customers.” You can learn more about Windows Intune, or start using it today from www.windowsintune.com .   ttfn David
  • How to wake a computer to perform a antimalware scan, particularly useful for Windows Intune

    While having the book reviewed one feature that was asked for, but is not possible with Windows Intune, was the ability to make Windows Intune wake a computer at night and carry out an anti-virus scan. This blog post is referred to in the book when setting the Anti-Malware policy. To solve this, there are two issues to tackle: Wake up the computer Start a scan The answer appears to be that to wake the computer we need to use a task in Task Scheduler and then we need to start a scan. One very important thought here is that we need to ensure the power settings on the computer will put it back to sleep though! The command line required is “ %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Security Client\Antimalware>MpCmdRun.exe -scan -scantype 0 ” While working on this, I also wanted something that could be deployed by Windows Intune. In the end I have written a small piece of software that can create a task that wakes the computer and will start a scan. If you do not want a scan to start, change the program to execute to “ cmd.exe ” and the command arguments to be “ /c ”. This will start the computer and then open and close a command windows. Any other scheduled tasks can then run while the computer is idle, including the Windows Intune scan. So, download Windows Intune Wake Task.zip and extract to a folder. There are 3 files. The DLL is from http://taskscheduler.codeplex.com/ and I am grateful to David Hall for this code. The other two files are the main program and a settings.xml file to enable changing the settings and running as a quiet install for Windows Intune. The program looks like this: I would like to think I don’t have to explain to much, however, here are the basics: The task can run either daily, on a set day each week, or a specific day number of each month (including the last day). It runs at a specific time. The command has 3 parts, the path, the command to run and the command line arguments. The defaults here are those to run a default scan. So now the buttons: Set Task creates...
  • Got the notice that my Windows Intune account will be upgraded to V2

    Hi, even though the Windows Intune V2 service has been out for a little while, my existing V1 accounts have not yet been upgraded.  Today I got this e-mail telling me that it was now scheduled to happen in 4 days time. When I clicked on the link, I was taken to the alert that looks like this in the console: It talks about the “Account Details page” to find out more information.  I know Windows Intune quite well and I was not sure what the Account Details page was.  However, if we go to the Administration workspace and look at the Administration Overview then at the top of the page we see… “Planned account migration date: 12/16/2011” – OK, so it is in US date format, but at least it is coming this week!! I just wanted to share that the updates are coming and where to get the date from.   Thanks David
  • Microsoft Case Study: Windows Intune - SkyWire

    I saw this case study and wanted to share as it has some fantastic good news in it, highlighting how Windows Intune is helping this customer.  The highlights for me were: Reduced IT Costs SkyWire Media avoided the cost of third-party products that it would need to perform desktop management tasks by using Windows Intune. “I looked at antivirus and malware [malicious software] servers for [U.S.]$8,000 each,” says Malloy. “When you add $2,000 for the software and another $70,000 for a full-time administrator, we were looking at $80,000. Windows Intune saved us from those expenses.” With Windows Intune, SkyWire can retire on-premises solutions. “The software distribution feature now available in Windows Intune will save us an estimated $10,000 in software costs because we can retire the third-party tools that we were using for this purpose,” says Castleberry. Simplified PC Management Now that SkyWire Media has standardized the desktops on Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows Intune has delivered all required updates, it has a clear baseline for future hardware and software purchases. Also, it can easily stay in compliance with software licenses. And by using the Computers workspace, Malloy created computer groups and applied management policies to fine-tune his control over the desktop. “Having the security updates, software deployment, endpoint protection, and reporting and inventorying features in one utility is phenomenal,” says Malloy. Improved IT Support By using Windows Intune, SkyWire Media can prevent malware threats before they interfere with a sales representative’s ability to win new business. “Our support calls are down by 70 per cent, proof that Windows Intune is keeping our sales folks productive. They can rely on their laptops for dependable computing and fool proof SkyWire software demos,” says Castleberry. “That’s good news for our business!” You can read the whole thing at Microsoft Case Study: Windows Intune – SkyWire . Thanks David
  • Return on Investment (ROI) calculator for Windows Intune

    I’ve just come across this tool for Windows Intune.  As with any “benefits” calculator, the results simply reflect the quality of the data you put in – garbage in, garbage out. Since my computers managed by Windows Intune are already on Windows 7, have anti-malware loaded and other benefits, the results came out lower compared to those on Windows XP.  If you don’t have Windows 7, for example, the benefits are much higher. The calculator can be found at http://windowsintuneroi.valueprism.com/ and the excel version can be found at here .  The Excel version suggested that if I had 100 Windows XP computers the benefits would be as follows:   I hope this is useful   David
  • Windows Cloud Essentials Pack–Microsoft Partners can get Windows Intune internal use for free (and Office 365)

    I’m really proud to have passed an exam towards my The Cloud Accelerate program as you can see from my certificate on the left. I have started with the Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack and I’m now moving up towards cloud accelerate! One of the reasons I like the Essentials Pack is the benefits it provides in terms of software, marketing and simple business tools and there is no fee or sales requirement in the first year! From the web site above, the benefits are: Software Benefits Microsoft Technology License Grant Microsoft Office 365 250 licenses Windows Intune Subscription for 25 PCs Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 250 licenses Windows Azure platform 750 hours of extra-small-compute instance, 25 hours of small-compute instance, 20 gigabytes of storage, and 250,000 storage transactions Microsoft SQL Azure Web Edition database: 1 gigabyte Windows Azure AppFabric: 100,000 access control transactions and 2 service bus connections Data transfer: 25 gigabytes in and 25 gigabytes out Marketing Benefits Listing as Cloud Essentials partner on the Microsoft Pinpoint online marketplace Listing in the Microsoft Office 365 Marketplace Marketing resources Business Benefits Online sales and financial modelling tools Demo Showcase Profitability Modeller Presales and technical support Online Technical Communities for cloud services Requirements For Partners Who Sell and Service For Partners Who Build and Develop Enrol in the Microsoft Partner Network. Sign the Microsoft Online Services Partner Agreement (MOSPA) and complete introductory training and an assessment. To continue receiving these benefits in your second year of enrolment, you must meet a modest sales requirement of 50 seats per product during your first year of enrolment. Enrol in the Microsoft Partner Network. Sign up on Microsoft Platform Ready and register your application. Annual Fee There is no fee for this program. Thanks David
  • Windows Intune IDC report–A Blueprint for Success for Microsoft Partners–the ups and downs

    I’ve found another document from the March timeframe from IDC (sponsored by Microsoft) about Windows Intune.  This one talks about how to be successful with Windows Intune.  It can be found here . One area worth exploring in the document is the section entitled “Opportunity Areas for Existing PC Management Practices”. One partner is quoted as saying "I think we could cover more customers than we could today. I don't think we have realized how big the potential is. It could help us win new deals and bigger deals." It does not pull punches either and discusses some areas that partners have been talking to me about.. New Budget Line Item for the Customer The largest change is that for the most part, other third-party, on-premise PC management tools are purchased by partners, and the partners must cover the expense of the tools with their PC management revenue. In contrast, with Windows Intune, the customer signs up for the service with Microsoft, and Microsoft bills the customer directly. What this effectively means is that with Windows Intune, the customer must pay not only the PC management fees to the service provider but also a (new) fee to Microsoft. Microsoft partners face the choice of continuing to charge their standard PC management service price, which results in an effective increase in overall fees the customer must pay, or reducing the price they charge to their customers, which reduces their overall profitability per engagement but keeps the customer whole. Another potential downside to the solution provider is a reduction in customers' stickiness; customers using Windows Intune as their PC management tool could easily pick up their service and move it to another Windows Intune–capable solution provider.          Benefits to the Partner While the challenges to the solution provider business model were viewed as the largest downsides of the Windows Intune model, solution providers interviewed also saw some benefits. One is the lack of hassle...
  • How Windows Intune can lower costs and raise productivity

    Hi, Just a quick post to share this document from IDC (sponsored by Microsoft) on Windows Intune from March 2011.  It can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/cloud/docs/IntuneWP.pdf . It shows how companies can benefit from savings of $702 per year through IT staff savings, user productivity and removal of other tools. ttfn David
  • Using Windows Intune with Autotask and ConnectWise

    Having spoken to several partners yesterday at the SMB MVT Tour I mentioned MS CRM’s integration with Windows Intune, but I thought it was worth sharing information on integration with Autotask and ConnectWise. Training and whitepapers can be found here: ConnectWise Windows Intune and Professional Services Automation: ConnectWise Learn about the integration between Windows Intune and business operation system ConnectWise, which offers customer relationship management, service request tracking, sales force automation, and more. (Online, 1 hour) Whitepaper - https://partner.microsoft.com/40165832 Autotask Windows Intune PSA Tools: Autotask This professional services automation (PSA) presentation showcases how to connect Windows Intune and Autotask to help manage customer relationships in a single system. Covers customer relationship management, service requests, contracts, billing management, and reporting. (Online, 1 hour) Whitepaper - https://partner.microsoft.com/40165830 Thanks David
  • Free internal use Windows Intune, Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online licenses for Microsoft Partners through Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate

    While asking at Microsoft of any information they wanted me to share about Windows Intune Olivia asked me to share this.  I think this is so key, I will share this on the blog too.  Something to remember is that you can join Windows Intune ticketing up to Dynamics CRM Online for a more joined up helpdesk experience. Cloud Essentials is a free programme for all MOSPA-registered partners, without sales or reference obligations. Partners just need to sign up at www.microsoftcloudpartner.com and they can then sign in at this portal to receive the following benefits: Internal user rights for: • 250 licences of Office 365 • 25 subscriptions for Windows Intune • 250 licences for Dynamics CRM Online • Marketing resources • Demo showcase • Profitability Modeller • Online technical communities for Cloud • Listing as Cloud Essentials partner on Microsoft PinPoint online marketplace For partners who are actively selling Cloud, they could become Cloud Accelerate partners after completing three deals (with 150 aggregated seats) of Office365, Intune and/or Dynamics CRM Online, they would receive the following additional benefits: · Increased internal user rights for Intune (100 subscriptions) · Prioritised listing as Cloud Accelerate partner of Microsoft PinPoint online marketplace · Marketing resources · Demo showcase · Profitability Modeller · Online technical communities for Cloud · Microsoft Office 365 Practice Accelerator · 20 partner technical advisory hours · Specialised Cloud training More information can be found about this on www.microsoftcloudpartner.com , or for any partner queries around this scheme please feel free to forward my details. Kind regards, Olivia Excellent information if you were not aware. David
  • Manage customers with #Windows #Intune and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online (Updated)

    As a Microsoft partner (or customer), you can connect Windows Intune to MS-CRM to enable management ticketing from MS-CRM for client computers managed through Windows Intune. The details of how to configure this can be found at https://partner.microsoft.com/india/40169122 and it states “This document shows how Managed Services Providers (MSPs) can use Windows Intune™ in conjunction with Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Online to create and manage customer contracts, establish and automate internal business processes, and create cases based on email messages sent by alerts that track against a customer’s contract.” It also states that: As organizations build their Windows Intune MSP capabilities, they can use Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to: Track customer accounts. Create and manage contracts and service-level agreements (SLAs) with customers. Create and track cases against customer SLAs. Assign customer cases to Windows Intune technicians. Create workflows and dialogs that enforce standardized business practices. Schedule required customer tasks for Windows Intune technicians. The setup is documented in the file, although the alerting is quite simple: [Updated information] Since posting this it turns out that there is some key information missing. This was highlighted in this forum post http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-GB/windowsintuneprod/thread/0991538d-2a3d-48de-99b4-a1f0fcf51afe and has the following information: I'm afraid this white paper is missing a very important prerequisite of E-mail Router. I mean the whitepaper does not mention the fact that CRM online is not an e-mail client, and cannot receive e-mail messages sent by Windows Intune to notification recipient. For this purpose you need an E-mail Router. E-mail router function can be solved several ways, maybe this link will be helpful: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/crm/archive/2011/05/19/crm-online-e-mail-router-yes-we-do-that.aspx I hope this is useful. David
  • Log files on each PC with Windows Intune

    Windows Intune is a cloud based management service with alerts and information stored in the Microsoft cloud, however sometimes it is very useful to see what is going on, on the actual PC. There are various log files that can be found on the client PC should you wish to explore. These are found at %ProgramFiles%\microsoft\onlinemanagement\logs . We can see several files in here, of which the following are particularly interesting if we want to go diving into the product: Enrollment – This file details the process of a computer enroling with Windows Intune. If the computer fails to appear in the Windows Intune list of computers, this is the log to watch. If enrollment to Windows Intune for the computer was successful we should see the following in the log file: 2011-10-05 09:00:46:615 12260 2d7c Enroll ********* 2011-10-05 09:00:46:615 12260 2d7c Enroll ** END ** Enroll: StartUpdateAgentService: Online Management Updates Service started, or already running 2011-10-05 09:00:46:615 12260 2d7c Enroll ************* HostProtection – This log provides details of any anti-malware activity on the computer. For example, a malware entry will be logged as below: 2011-11-14 13:35:28:093 4076 2b78 EventConsumer::ReportMalwareStatusEvent() - <sco:MalwareStatusEvent xmlns:sco="schemas.microsoft.com/management/services/hostprotection/2009/01" ActivityType="FullStatusResync"> <MalwareStatus> <ID>7480</ID> <Name>RemoteAccess:Win32/RealVNC</Name> <URL> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=37020&amp;name=RemoteAccess%3AWin32%2FRealVNC&amp;threatid=7480 </URL> <Severity>Moderate</Severity> <Category>RemoteControlSoftware</Category> <CurrentStatus>Quarantined</CurrentStatus> <ExecutionStatus>NotBlocked</ExecutionStatus> <LastEventTime>2011-10-22T13:16:50.303630900Z</LastEventTime> <NumDetections>1</NumDetections> </MalwareStatus> PolicyAgent – In here, we can see what...
  • How to find out about service disruption for Office 365, BPOS, Windows Azure and Windows Intune

    Hi, I got this e-mail from Microsoft, but wanted to share with all should you ever need to get this information.  The key elements are:       1. Today: Educate Yourself 2. During the Event: Stay Informed 3. After the Event: Understand the Situation 1. View service status via the Service Health Dashboards BPOS: Americas: https://health.noam.microsoftonline.com Europe: https://health.emea.microsoftonline.com Asia/Pacific: https://health.apac.microsoftonline.com Windows Azure Service Health Dashboard Windows Intune Service Service Status 2. Office 365 Within the Dashboard, Click on "Service Health" in the left column of the Admin Overview under Support 3. Sign up for Windows Azure and BPOS-S RSS Feeds via the Service Health Dashboards 1. Track customer updates on the service dashboards 2. Subscribe to Twitter Handles: @MSOnline @Office365 @Windows Intune @Windows Azure The Microsoft Online Services Team will convey the latest updates via the above Twitter Accounts. 1. Request the Post Incident Report (PIR) from Support. 2. Meet with your customers to assess the impact. 3. Provide your feedback and feedback on behalf of your customers around the event and communication process. Thanks David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune , Intune , Office 365 , Azure , BPOS , Microsoft
  • Important Notice from Windows Intune about upgrades–you need to uninstall the beta!

    Hi, I just got this alert from Windows Intune which tells me that the beta service will end soon and that I need to uninstall the beta software and if I have a full account, install the new software (or old software to then be upgraded) Important Notice Account:  David Overton Associates Source:    Path:        Type:  Important Notice Description We are pleased to announce that the new features and enhancements that were offered in the Windows Intune July 2011 beta are now commercially available! If you have a paid Windows Intune subscription, your service will be upgraded over the next few weeks, so that you can take advantage of these new features. You do not need to take any action. Your subscription and deployed Windows Intune clients will be automatically upgraded. Two weeks prior to your upgrade date, you will see an alert displayed in the Windows Intune administrator console that indicates the exact date and time when your subscription will be upgraded. If you participated in the Windows Intune July 2011 beta, please note that the beta service will conclude 30 days after the Windows Intune general availability date. After this date, you will no longer be able to access your beta account, and all account data will be deleted. If you choose to sign up for a trial or purchase the commercial release of Windows Intune, you must uninstall the Windows Intune July 2011 beta client software, restore your computers to their original pre-beta state, and install the new client software on all computers that you want to manage with Windows Intune. We highly recommend that you remove the client software and restore your computers to their pre-beta state, even if you choose not to continue using Windows Intune. An uninstall script has been made available to make this task easier. You can download the script here: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=219678 . View this alert in the Windows Intune console:  https://manage.microsoft.com/Site/App.aspx I’ve done a few uninstalls,...
  • How does a SBS partner win / lose with Windows Intune–discuss

    Hi, I don’t run my own business offering support to customers, but I thought I would put out a suggestion, since some partners have asked me “how do I make money from the cloud?” Before I start I really do have to stress that this is NOT MY DAY JOB and that my opinions here are MINE and not those of Microsoft.  They may align, they may not, but I have been thinking about this and wanted to share MY thoughts and then see what others had to say about it. There are so many answers and depending on the customer, the answer may well be “you can’t, not yet.”  However, I’ve tried to draw 3 comparison graphs on how I see things changing.  I mean, the number of times I’ve heard SBSC partners say “I want the management functionality of SBS, but I don’t want Exchange”, well, we have that with SBS Essentials now.  There are other times when customers don’t visit the office often enough and while Direct Access can solve some problems, only if the customer has the infrastructure for it. If not, unless a PC visits the office or VPN’s in, then the policies do not get applied. So, we know what Windows Intune “does” versus the SBS servers as I’ve described this here . The next question for a partner is what is the impact on my revenue and profit margin.  I’ve tried to depict this with some very simple graphics of this below.  I’m thinking of a customer who wants desktop management or desktop plus Exchange and SharePoint.  It would be great to know if this is too simple or the concept is wrong – please feel free to comment below. SBS costs and profit You can see from the picture that hardware , while expensive have a very small (if any) profit associated to it.  The same is true of software , especially if it is Microsoft software which I’m told has lower margins that some other people’s. We then come onto the services elements.  The first part is i nstallation .  For some people this is a lower revenue and profit part of the process.  This is then followed up by the support element...
  • Windows Intune V2 Released–it may take a little time to update existing customers

    So I’ve got a bit Windows Intune batty at the moment.  The book is now finished and in review and today I got this lovely e-mail from Microsoft about my own subscription (yes, I do use it myself) What’s new in the October release? • Software Distribution. Centrally deploy most software to managed PCs from the Windows Intune administration console. • Remote Tasks Right-click the name of a computer to perform actions—run a malware scan, update malware definitions, or force a restart. • Extended License Management In addition to many Microsoft ® volume licenses, manage most of your Microsoft retail licenses, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) licenses for Microsoft software, and most third-party software licenses. * • Enhanced Reporting and Filters Create detailed reports on your hardware inventory with new filters, including Manufacturer, Chassis type, Available disk space, Memory installed, and CPU speed. • Read-only Administrator Access When adding service administrators to your Windows Intune account, you can select whether to grant full administrator rights or read-only access to information.   If you have Windows Intune it will take a little while (weeks, not months) for the account to be migrated over, however if you sign up for a trial today you will be provisioned on the new service straight away.   Thanks David Technorati Tags: intune , Windows Intune , Microsoft , Cloud
  • The Windows Intune Client components

    Having installed (and uninstalled) Windows Intune a number of times I just wanted to signpost this blog post here that lists the components that are installed and what they do at Coretech by Brian Fahrenholtz .  The information can be found at Windows Intune Client Agent components .  It explains what each of the following does or provides: Microsoft Easy Assist v2 Microsoft Online Management Policy Agent Microsoft Online Management Update Manager Microsoft Policy Platform System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Agent Windows Firewall Configuration Provider Windows Intune Center Windows Intune Endpoint Protection Windows Intune Endpoint Protection Agent Windows Intune Monitoring Agent   Thanks David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune , Microsoft , Cloud
  • Windows Intune V2 moving from Beta to full product (RTW)

    I went to log into the beta Windows Intune console tonight to discover it was “down”, or more importantly, it was directing me to the Service Status page. We can see from this that a number of sites are undergoing maintenance.  When we hover over the sites undergoing maintenance it states:   (The whole service instance was under maintenance from Oct 14 2011 1:00PM (UTC) to Oct 15 2011 3:00AM(UTC) – Wave 2 Beta to RTW URL patch) Hopefully we will see the full product ASAP. David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune , Cloud , Microsoft
  • Using Intune with Sysprepped images

    I've just been through this for my book and some people were asking internally, so I thought I would share this little snippet / preview from the book on the process we have to follow to install Windows Intune from a sysprepped image. This means an image that we want to roll out to lots and lots of computers. Here is the information, based on the blog video found at http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsintune/archive/2011/09/22/adding-the-windows-intune-client-to-an-operating-system-deployment-image.aspx and the help file is located at http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsintune/hh397411.aspx . Image based deployment The latest version of Windows Intune (which is currently in beta, but due to release in less than 2 weeks) brings with it image based deployment where you can place the Windows Intune files on a computer image that will then be loaded onto several computers. There are several steps to this process if you are using the Microsoft deployment tools. 1. Install Windows to the computer 2. Download and extract the files from the Windows Intune zip file and place this on this folder which you will have to create: %Systemdrive%\Temp\Windows_Intune_Setup 3. Add the following lines to SetupComplete,cmd file, normally located or created in the %windir%\setup\scripts folder. Note there are 2 commands, the reg command and the call to the setup %windir%\system32\reg.exe add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Onlinemanagement\Deployment /v WindowsIntuneEnrollPending /t REG_DWORD /d 1 %systemdrive%\temp\Windows_Intune_Setup\Windows_Intune_Setup.exe /PrepareEnroll 4. Seal the image with a command such as the one below. If you wish to create an unattended install then you will have to create the answer file my_unattended_setup.xml for sysprep. To do this, download the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) from http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?2Q . Creating an unattended installation process is beyond this book, however Brian Jackson has an excellent article that can be found at http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx...
  • Microsoft Windows Intune, Quickstart Administration Book moving to Intune V2

    Hi, Given the closeness of Windows Intune V2, I have decided with the publisher to update the book with the Version 2 updates and images. This will mean a slight delay in the book as I can’t finalise it until V2 is released to market. Today I’ve been going through the beta for Windows Intune V2, updating the images, reports and adding content on the new features. The ones I’ve spent some time on or plan to spend time on are: Installation – Done Image based deployment – Done Administrator management – Done License Management – Done Policy Setting – Not started Software distribution – Captured screen shots, need to insert into book Non-Microsoft update distribution – Captured screen shots, need to insert into book Reporting – Not started Alerts – Not started Right Click menus – updated in sections above that are completed My goal is to get the book completed again before October 17th and then to print ASAP for V2. BTW, for great Windows Intune information, look at the official blog at http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsintune/ ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune
  • When does Windows Intune make sense for a company as the only management solution or hybrid

    I’ve been asked this question several times, so I thought I would share my thoughts. I don’t regularly work with the Windows Intune team at Microsoft as this is not my role, so this is purely my opinion, not in any way endorsed by Microsoft. To start off with, I think Windows Intune makes sense for a company whenever they are considering a cloud based Management strategy. Windows Intune also has the benefit of providing you with Windows and Microsoft anti-Malware software for your computers, so it is a way to get up to date, stay secure and manage the computers. Having said all of this, there are times when Windows Intune makes perfect sense. Smaller organisations have a range of choices to deliver systems management from Microsoft, which they need to pair with security and desktop software updates to deliver a solution the same as Windows Intune. There are also all the options available to larger organisations, but the options tailored for SMEs are functionally rich at a lower price point. These include the SBS 2011 Essentials and SBS 2011 Standard / Premium Products as well as Windows 7 itself. From a comparison point of view, this is how they simply stack up: SBS 2011 Essentials SBS 2011 Standard Windows Intune Windows Server 2008 R2 Yes Yes No, but could be irrelevant ( Yes in Azure ) Active Directory Yes Yes No WSUS No Yes Yes Group Policy No Yes Yes (some) Management tools Simple monitoring Yes Yes Exchange 2010 No Yes No ( Yes in Office 365 ) SharePoint Foundation Optional, but not pre-built Yes No ( Yes in Office 365 ) Premium Add-on Services Optional Optional No ( Yes in Azure ) User / PC limit 25 75 Unlimited Windows 7 (and later versions) No No Yes Anti-malware No (non-centralised for 1-9 PCs) No (non-centralised for 1-9 PCs) Yes Remote shared screen assistance No No Yes Payment Model Up front Up front Subscription Windows Intune gives you the ability to run your infrastructure on-premise or in the cloud. This could include Office 365 or Azure if desired. There are basically two options available...
  • Windows Intune Links worth having

    Since I’ve been working on the Windows Intune book I’ve found a few sources of information that I trust regarding the product.  I thought I would share them: Windows Intune V1 (current production environment) Service Status Dashboard - http://status.manage.microsoft.com/Statuspage/servicedashboard.aspx Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/WindowsIntune?sk=wall Mike Resseler’s blog from the Belgium System Center User Group - http://scug.be/blogs/intune/default.aspx Windows Intune Team Blog - http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsintune/ Windows Intune V2 (beta) Beta fact sheet, documenting the changes between the current V1 product and the V2 beta - http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26704 Finally, if you want to read my book as it is written - https://www.packtpub.com/microsoft-windows-intune-quickstart-administration-enterprise-through-cloud/book   ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune
  • Windows Intune book update

    Well, I’ve finally finished the drafts for all chapters of the soon to be published book called Microsoft Windows Intune, Quickstart Administration . It would have been sooner if my lovely mother had not fallen ill and passed away. I don’t regret the delay in finishing the book, but that we had so little time in the end and that she was not here to see it finish. The book is now awaiting review and editorial updates before it is finally published. Update - 2/10/2010 - Since the launch of Windows Intune V2 is so close, I'm updating to V2 now. This means that you can no longer access the work in progress chapters. I hope to resolve this in a few weeks time. The book has undergone some structural changes while I was writing it. The chapters are now: 1. Overview of Cloud Computing 2. Introduction to PC Management Concepts 3. Overview of Windows Intune Features 4. Signing up for Intune and installing the client software 5. Configuring Windows Intune 6. Configuring management policy 7. Tracking and reporting 8. Monitoring and dealing with alerts, including remote assistance 9. Resolving problems using Microsoft DaRT 10.Using and deploying Windows 7 Enterprise with Windows Intune 11.Integration with existing Microsoft Products You can access the book “in progress” and buy it from here . Once this is solidly out the way and the V2 beta has stabilised I will look to work on a V2 book too. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune
  • Windows Intune Service Status Page

    When using a cloud service, understanding the reliability of the service is vital.  Windows Intune is a management tool and as such, when the service is down it is only management that cannot be performed, rather than the computers going offline themselves, which means the impact is much less to the end users. The Service Status Page provides that information for Windows Intune.  You can see on the image below that you can also scroll back over the last 5 weeks to see what has happened.  The good thing here is that it is a sea of green for the last 5 weeks   Hopefully it will stay that way.  You can also see that there are at least two datacenters for each region, so an outage at one should not stop the service working. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Intune
  • Exporting hardware information from Windows Intune

    As most of you know I am working on my Windows Intune book and I've just finished the 6th chapter. This covers reporting and I was highly frustrated that there is no export or print function on all the hardware information screens, but you can export some of the hardware information. Here is how to do it: Open the Windows Intune Console by going to http://manage.microsoft.com . Select the Computers workspace and find the computer that whose hardware inventory we want to explore or store. Change the Filters setting from None to Hardware classification . We will now see the information about the hardware manufactures and model. If the machine is a non-OEM system then we will see the motherboard manufacturer and model number. We can export this data using the export logo in the top right of the tool bar next to the printer icon. We are prompted to choose between csv (comma separated values) and html files. Only csv files are useful for importing into custom reports. Select .csv File and then press Export . Once we have entered a file to save the content the export is confirmed by the message showing how many rows were exported. Press Close to finish the export. Change the Filters setting to Hardware identity to bring the identity information up. We can again export this data using the export logo in the top right of the tool bar next to the printer icon. Select .csv File and then press Export . Once we have entered a file to save the content the export is confirmed by the message showing how many rows were exported. Press Close to finish the export. To see the full hardware details, do the following: 1. Open the Windows Intune Console by going to http://manage.microsoft.com . Select the Computers workspace and find the computer that whose hardware inventory we want to explore or store. 2. Click on the computer’s Name to show the Computer Properties 3. Select the Hardware tab to show all the hardware information. The first section is specific to the operating system install and the motherboard inside the system...
  • Microsoft Case Study: Windows Intune - 70 person IT services company

    Hi all, I thought I would share this Windows Intune case study that has just gone up on Microsoft.com. IT Solutions Provider Offers Simplified PC Management with Cloud-Based Solution “Windows Intune fills the support void that many customers experience for desktop environments. It's the perfect PC management tool.” - Rod Giesbrecht, Chief Executive Officer, Imaginet Business Needs Imaginet offers managed services and custom software development to hundreds of customers worldwide. Many of its customers with dispersed workforces did not have the resources to monitor and manage their client computing environments. Imaginet realized that many of these customers did not have full-time administrators and instead relied on technically astute employees to manage desktops in addition to their regular duties. Without an IT professional to monitor client computers, those computers were often vulnerable to malicious software. Plus, without the technical resources to diligently perform maintenance tasks, when customers did experience an issue with their desktop environment, it was often severe enough to bring business to a halt. Solution Imaginet turned to Windows Intune, a cloud-based PC management and endpoint protection solution. To evaluate the solution first hand, Imaginet adopted Windows Intune to manage 10% of its client computers in March 2011. It takes advantage of the administration console, which administrators can access from any browser enabled with Microsoft Silverlight 3 browser technology, to schedule critical software updates, manage security policies, and monitor PC health. Benefits Imaginet sees several ways its customers can benefit from Windows Intune. Using the cloud-based solution avoids the need for additional IT, which helps reduce capital expenses. Imaginet can schedule critical updates for its customers’ remote workers, which helps those customers ensure a security-enhanced, uniform PC environment. Imaginet and its customers can use a single solution to manage a variety of tasks from a central location...
  • Windows Intune book chapters

    I'm now about 1/2 way through the Microsoft WIndows Intune book, which is great. Please feel free to ask any questions as I can always incorporate the answers into the book. I thought I would share the chapters for everyone which are: 0. Preface 1. Overview of Cloud Computing 2. Introduction to PC Management Concepts 3. Overview of Windows Intune Features 4. Signing up for Windows Intune and installing the client software 5. Configuring Windows Intune 6. Pro-active Management 7. Monitoring and dealing with alerts, including remote assistance 8. Using and deploying Windows 7 Enterprise with Windows Intune 9. Integration with existing Microsoft Products The book will walk through with a large number of images each of the above as I understand them. I can honestly say that it has been a pleasure exploring Windows Intune and now sharing this will be great fun. As they say, Bring it on!! I'm hoping to have finished all drafts in the next couple of months and I now have four people signed up to review the book, to which I'm very grateful for their time. David
  • Windows Intune - the book and me

    It is time for me to admit my next project, now that I've finally submitted the first chapter, and that is that I'm writing about Windows Intune. Those who have worked with me in the past will know that I'm not much of a "koolaid" person, but I do believe that Cloud Services will be the way of the future and I think that Windows Intune will be a key pillar of the Microsoft story for our existing customers. To this end I wanted to annoucne that I'm in the writing process of writing a book on configuring and deploying Windows Intune. I remember all the discussions about MOM on SPLA and centralised management with the SBSC partners and the number of conversations I've had with customers and it seems inevitable that Windows Intune will be a huge success. It will also be, in my personal opinion, quite disruptive to the current management offerings of the Microsoft partners in this segment as all cloud services by every company has proven to be so far, including to the SBS customer set. Over the weekend I will finish the 2nd and 3rd chapters and I will then share the plan I've agreed with Packt Publishing for the book. As always, please feel free to let me know what you think about all this. Thanks David

(c)David Overton 2006-13