Friday Notebook, April 26: Microsoft and Citrix earnings; Nerdio for Azure Core

Also: Workspace One Intelligent Hub; Chrome extensions; the year of VDI; 5G; DeX; passwords; and more!

This is our weekly log of desktop virtualization, enterprise mobility, and end user computing news.

Our blog posts

Kyle: How Google manages Chrome extensions without manually white/blacklisting each one. The key is to make policies based on permissions or runtime actions, not manually whitelisting each one.

Jack: Is it the year of VDI? We’re at a high point, according to TechTarget research. TechTarget has been asking the same question for several years, and VDI projects in 2019 are bucking the previous trends.

Kyle: 5G technology *might* affect EUC, but don’t hold your breath for a revolution. Mobile carriers and others are all in on 5G technology, but how will that impact you now—and into the future?

Jack: I talked to a real-world Samsung DeX pilot customer, the Chula Vista Police Department. It’s taken a while to get here, but DeX is solving a lot of problems for CVPD in one fell swoop. It’s all about having the right use case!

Industry news

Citrix earnings: Q1 2019 revenue is up 3% YOY. Subscription (up 37%), SaaS (up 43%), and Workspace (up 13%) YOY revenue growth for the quarter all paint a brighter picture.

Here’s what’s new with Workspace One Intelligent Hub, with a video demo. It looks like this is coming along well, and the browser and Mac-based versions now have many of the same features as the mobile clients. (We took a close look at Intelligent Hub back in December.) I like the attention to detail shown by features like set favorite apps per platform and hide virtual apps on mobile devices, as well as the ability to go back and view completed notifications. You can now also launch Okta apps or change passwords from Workspace One Hub, which I think are key milestones in the partnership and integration.

From Microsoft “Microsoft Edge on iOS and Android now supports conditional access and single sign-on.” Managed EMM-specific mobile browsers still play an important role, especially on BYOD devices. When you own the browser, there are all sorts of things you can do to make SSO and conditional access smoother, and set DLP policies that may not be available with MDM.

Microsoft is moving towards implementing NIST guidelines to drop password expiration policies. Of course, this also requires other measures, like checking new passwords against a known bad list, and implementing MFA. As SwiftOnSecurity pointed out, this is available in Azure AD, but not on-premises.

Mary Jo Foley breaks down Microsoft earnings. As pointed out by Brad Anderson, the EMS install base is now passing 100 million. Also, Outlook for iOS and Android is on more than 100 million devices, and Windows 10 is on more than 800 million devices.

Citrix Hypervisor (XenServer) 8.0 is out.

CloudJumper announced their Windows Virtual Desktop-based offering.

More notes and reads

In my weekend reading plans: The new Workspace One and Horizon reference architecture, which includes cloud, on-premises, and multi-site implementations.

Remember the VDI Performance Summit is next Thursday, May 2. It’s free to attend! (And I’ll be giving a session about the future of VDI in a world of workspaces.)

Product Spotlight: Nerdio for Azure Core

Last week we briefly mentioned Nerdio for Azure Core in the Friday Notebook, and this week we got to learn more about it from Nerdio CEO Vadim Vladimirskiy.

You’ll remember that Nerdio for Azure Enterprise is an MSP-oriented offering that will set up a full IT stack (including desktops) as a service in Azure. Last year, Nerdio introduced a dedicated DaaS offering, Nerdio for Azure Professional, which focuses just on desktop use cases.

Now, Nerdio for Azure Core is another module derived from their approach, dedicated to infrastructure use cases, rather than desktops. As such, it’s priced on a per-tenant basis, rather than a per-desktop basis as with their other offerings. This will open up even more use cases for the company.

Vadim, Kyle, and I also talked a bit about Windows Virtual Desktop. Obviously, it will fit right in with Nerdio for Azure, and Vadim pointed out that if you’re already licensed for Windows or Microsoft 365 and using RDS in Azure, going with the RDmi components of WVD should be a no-brainer. They’ve done some cost comparisons that will be interesting to dig into, as well.

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