Android Oreo, a look at Chromotif, Microsoft’s FSLogix shout out - Friday Notebook, August 25

Also: VMworld 2017, AirWatch and Chromebooks, Galaxy Note8, new client hypervisors, Azure AD for Macs, Citrix’s live event, and our blog posts.

This is our weekly log of everything that’s happened in the EUC, EMM, and desktop virtualization space, collected and co-written by Jack and Gabe.

VMworld and Oktane plans

Here are our plans for next week: We’ll do a live blog from the main Monday morning keynote and from the Monday afternoon super session, and we’ll record a podcast at some point during the week. We already know that we’ll have a lot of other things to write about, especially because AirWatch Connect is rolled into VMworld this year. And we might even do some videos! Okta Oktane is also running next week in Las Vegas, and Jack will be over there for the keynote on Tuesday morning. (If you’re curious, Okta is even offering free and discounted passes to VMworld attendees!) As usual, check back here for the latest, or follow us @GabeKnuth and @JackMadden.

News covered on BrianMadden.com

VMware AirWatch will support full Chromebook management. Google’s Chrome Device Management is quite powerful, and this is the first time it is being opened up to an EMM partner.

VMware and Parallels both announced new versions of their client hypervisors yesterday. The week before VMworld always brings a lot of product announcements. On Tuesday, both VMware and Parallels announced new versions of their competing Mac virtualization platforms, along with a new version of VMware Workstation for Windows.

More DeX updates are coming in the Samsung Galaxy Note8. Phone/desktop hybrids could actually be a thing, especially since Samsung is continuing to invest in the idea. Naturally, EMM and EUC vendors wrote a lot of blogs posts this week about how much they like and support the concept.

Industry news

Android 8.0 “Oreo” is out, with the usual round of ‘we support it’ announcements. New Android Enterprise EMM features include work profiles on fully management devices, among other refinements. Allowing apps from unknown sources is no longer a device-wide permission, which will have some security benefits. And Project Treble means that new devices that ship with Oreo (and by the sound of it, some existing devices) will be easier for OEMs to update.

There’s always a steady stream of updates coming out of the Azure AD team at Microsoft, but here’s one that’s especially notable: Azure AD will now support Conditional Access for MacOS devices. This means that you can ensure that only Intune-enrolled policy-compliant Macs can access resources controlled by Azure AD.

Citrix put on a live event with Microsoft on Tuesday, hosted by Calvin Hsu and with guest Brad Anderson. Mostly they reinforced partnership messages that we’re familiar with, but there were two new tech announcements: First, Citrix will support XenApp and XenDesktop Essentials on Azure Stack—this doesn’t require anything on Citrix’s part, it just just works. Second, Citrix will support Microsoft Teams (Microsoft’s Slack competitor)—this is pending Citrix’s support of WebRTC, which I was told is on the roadmap.

Later in the week, Citrix gave us a quick view of Workspace Services, the upcoming portal-like interface that aggregates... well... everything. There’s still a lot we don’t know yet, but the video mentioned that it will support apps and desktops from Horizon (via PCoIP, not Blast) and from Microsoft RDS (via RDP or HDX).

Microsoft gave a shout-out to FSLogix and the folks over at RDSGurus.com by calling out some testing that RDS Gurus performed using FSLogix’s Office 365 Containers. As you might expect from the folks behind RDS Gurus, the tests were very thorough, and they make a point to note where FSLogix is helpful (roaming RDS users) and where it isn’t (environments where Outlook is already indexed). The report also covers how FSLogix helps Windows Search performance. Head over and take a look for yourself.

Gabe’s look at Chromotif

Chromotif reached out to us recently to introduce their desktop virtualization platform, Nebeula (that is not a typo), and though we haven’t had a chance to take a deeper look at it yet, it appears to be worth mentioning here. As you might imagine by the name, Chromotif is tied to Google, leveraging Chrome Remote Desktop as their RDS framework-compliant protocol, Chrome as the client, and Google Cloud Platform for their management infrastructure. It also fully integrates with G Suite, which you can even use for authentication. Desktops and applications can run on GCP, AWS, Azure, or on-premises.

In the demo, Nebeula looks to be easy to set up, and could be useful in their target demographic of education. The product hasn’t officially launched yet, though they say they have several pilots underway. They’re currently working out the final details, but they expect the cost to be in the range of ten cents per user, per hour. You still have to bring your own Windows licenses and compute resources, though.

We’ll take a deeper look as they get closer to launch to fill in some of the information gaps, but if you’re bored or if this looks useful to you, head over to Chromotif.com and check them out. It probably isn’t going to drive Citrix or VMware out of organizations at this stage, but it could help with some specific use cases.

Our other blog posts

Gabe: Predicting when our desktops and applications will move to the cloud. There are two schools of thought when it comes to a move to the cloud, desktops first, or datacenter workloads first. Here's how both can happen at the same time.

Theresa Miller, contributor: Office 365 Security and Compliance: An intro to DLP, records management, and e-discovery concepts. Theresa Miller takes a look at DLP, records management, and e-discovery in Office 365 Exchange Online.

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