Eastern Cloud Blog

This blog is aimed at our East Region State & Local Government customers. Opinions are our own - be gentle with us.

Build Updates - Day 1

Instead of putting up a bunch of individual posts, I thought I would just make one post with a summary of some of the great announcements that came out during the first day of the Build Conference.

The Microsoft BUILD conference is typically a time when we release a lot of developer tools. This year we may have outdone ourselves. I’m going to talk a little about what we released today, but you’ll probably want to look at the announcements on Scott Guthrie’s Blog and Terry Myerson’s post on the Windows blog as well as Soma’s blog and Brian Harry’s blog. If you’d rather watch than read, head over to Channel 9 to watch the recordings.

Some announcements:

Lots and lots of news.  If you can spare 90 minutes, watch the day 1 keynote for some great demos.

Announcing improvements to Enterprise Mode and Enterprise Site Discovery

Hopefully, you are already aware that Microsoft will not support any browsers prior to IE11 starting on January 1, 2016.  Before you get upset, this policy is consistent with every other company that makes a browser out there.  If you factor in that Windows 10 will be out in advance of January 1st, Microsoft will be in an N-1 support stance.

To make the transition easier for our enterprise customers, Microsoft included "Enterprise Mode" in IE11 when Windows 8.1 shipped.  This mode provides robust backward compatibility for web sites and web apps that had issues with IE11.  We continue to improve Enterprise Mode, as you'll see in the post below.

Screenshot of Enterprise Mode Site List demonstrating support for IE8 Enterprise Mode and IE7 Enterprise Mode

We also made available, and continue to improve, a toolkit to help you determine what web sites users are browsing to and which sites have performance problems that have to be addressed.

Make sure you are aware of both of these things as you move your organization forward.


Build Starts Today!!

The Build Conference starts today in San Francisco.  You can watch the keynotes online for free on Microsoft's Channel 9 site.  Be sure to follow Build on Twitter to get all the latest announcements.  There should be lots of exciting news about Windows 10 for PCs and phones.

Azure Preview Portal Improvements

The Azure Preview Portal continues to evolve and improve.  Head over to the Azure Blog for details on what is new this month.  http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/2015/04/28/azure-preview-portal-improvements-april-update/

The post contains a detailed description of the changes:

  • Improved Browse resources experience
    • Access all your resources in a single list (All resources view)
    • Filter your resources by subscription
    • Filter your resources by name
    • Customize the columns in your resources list
    • Pin your resource lists to the Startboard for quick and convenient access
    • More control over the Recent browse list
  • Improved portal interactions
    • New keyboard shortcuts
    • Recover tiles from error state
    • Customize your monitoring charts
    • Easily copy text from the Essentials panel
    • Quick access to Help and Support
    • Simplifications to Customize mode
  • Personalized Service health experience (focus on your services)

Watch Ignite Live!!

The Microsoft Ignite Conference is coming up fast from May 4-8th in Chicago.  It's sold out, but you can participate remotely to join the excitement.  There should be some great news about Windows and System Center.  The keynotes are always where we trot out all the new goodies.

Watch the Ignite keynote live! Tune in early at 8:30AM CDT (9:30am EDT) on May 4, 2015 to catch the pre-show. Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, will take the stage at 9:00AM CDT (10am EDT) to outline Microsoft’s company strategy and how we are working hard to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.


Azure Active Directory Premium new features

Employee Self-Service App Access for Azure AD now in preview!

So today we're happy to announce a preview of self-service application access in Azure AD. This will allow administrators to do things like:
  • Enable users to request access to applications using a "Get more applications" tile in the Azure AD access panel
  • Set which applications users can request access to
  • Create an approval policy if needed
  • Specify who should approve requests for specific applications

Read more here...

Azure AD Application Proxy now supports custom domain names!

The main benefit of custom domains is that your employees, partners and customers will now see branded URLs that looks familiar to them. This new capability also enables existing apps to seamlessly work with the same URLs both internally and externally. This will solve many application compatibility problems and will make all links work all the time.

Read more here...

Microsoft Identity Manager Public Preview Updated

This release is beta quality and includes a lot of new capabilities:

  1. Manual approval of elevation requests
  2. The ability to require a Multi-Factor Authentication challenge as part of an elevation request
  3. Improved security monitoring of your privileged forest
  4. Azure AD based reporting capabilities in the cloud

Read more here...

Evolving Data Loss Prevention in SharePoint Online/OneDrive for Business and Office applications

Announcing upcoming public preview of DLP for SharePoint Online/OneDrive for Business

For the last couple of months, we have worked hard to test some of these cool new capabilities in a private preview with select customers. Later this quarter, we will bring a public preview of these capabilities to every single eligible Office 365 tenant.

Evolving Data Loss Prevention 1

Announcing public preview of DLP for Office 2016 applications

Last month when we announced the Office 2016 preview, we mentioned DLP as one of the core capabilities within the Office applications. Later this quarter, we will make these DLP capabilities available in the preview for three different Office applications—Word, Excel and PowerPoint. With these capabilities, end users can be notified in real-time on the sensitive content they are working right within the familiar Office applications they love and use.

Evolving Data Loss Prevention 7

Evolving Data Loss Prevention 6

Evolving Data Loss Prevention 7

Read more here...

Outlook for Android comes out of preview

Improved look and feel

We’ve continued to polish the look and feel of the app. We updated our icon sets and simplified our fonts to provide a more consistent Outlook experience across operating systems and devices. But it was also important for Outlook to feel like a natural part of Android. We use common Android design principles like the Navigation Drawer to house the multiple tools offered in the app and have common actions like settings available in the App Overflow menu.

Outlook for Android comes out of preview 1

Read more here...

Windows 10 Security Innovations at RSA: Device Guard, Windows Hello and Microsoft Passport

Device Guard is the previously unnamed feature we blogged about that gives organizations the ability to lock down devices in a way that provides advanced malware protection against new and unknown malware variants as well as Advanced Persistent Threats (APT’s). It provides better security against malware and zero days for Windows 10 by blocking anything other than trusted apps—which are apps that are signed by specific software vendors, the Windows Store, or even your own organization. You’re in control of what sources Device Guard considers trustworthy and it comes with tools that can make it easy to sign Universal or even Win32 apps that may not have been originally signed by the software vendor.

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are On Board with Device Guard

Device Guard Partners FINAL

Read More here...

Microsoft Announces Azure Service Fabric, A Next-Gen Platform-As-A-Service Technology


Service Fabric offers the following benefits:

  • It supports creating both stateless and stateful microservices – an architectural approach where complex applications are composed of small, independently versioned services – to power the most complex, low-latency, data-intensive scenarios and scale them into the cloud.
  • Provides the benefits of orchestration and automation for microservices with new levels of app awareness and insight.
  • Solves hard distributed systems problems like state management and provides application lifecycle management capabilities so developers don’t have to re-architect their applications as usage grows.
  • Includes Visual Studio tooling as well as command line support, which enables developers to quickly and easily build, test, debug, deploy and update their Service Fabric applications on single-box deployments, test deployments and production deployments.

Read more here...