Friday Notebook, January 18: Outlook Mobile approved for all U.S. federal users; more on migrations

Also: Windows 7 EOL; Android Enterprise Recommended for EMM; Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph; and Ericom new CEO.

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

Our blog posts

Jack: Windows 7 end of life is in one year (January 14, 2020). How’s your Windows 10 migration going? If you haven’t migrated yet, now’s the time. But even if you migrated already, you’re probably not out of the woods yet, either.

Jack: Google announces Android Enterprise Recommended program for EMM vendors. Initial EMM vendors include Blackberry, Google Cloud, I3 Systems, IBM, Microsoft, MobileIron, SoftBank, SOTI, and VMware.

Kyle: What is Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph? Get access to data from over 200 Microsoft services in one central view for security and performance.

Jack: Talking to Ericom’s new CEO about Ericom Shield and cloud security. Incoming CEO David Canellos has a background in the cloud/web/SaaS security space, which is indicative of the potential in Ericom Shield.

Industry news

Outlook Mobile for iOS and Android is now approved for use by all U.S. government customers. For years, it’s been assumed that these types of customers would have to head to other apps like BlackBerry (formerly Good Technology) email apps, Citrix Secure Mail, and others, so this is certainly interesting news.

Still, there are plenty of folks who are frustrated with Microsoft’s slower pace of EMM features for iOS and Android. In this week’s example, after news of the Android Enterprise Recommended program expanding to EMM providers dropped on Monday, some in the community expressed the opinion that the bar for AER was set too low. (Vendors are required to support at least two of the three main deployment modes, which Google considers to be work profiles, fully-managed corporate devices, and dedicated devices.) I agree that recommended vendors should have to support more scenarios—you don’t want to be pushed into use the wrong EMM technique for your use case.

To Microsoft’s credit, on Thursday they announced a public preview for their support of fully managed devices (on top of their existing support for work profiles and dedicated devices).

But overall, we know that this is Microsoft’s playbook for Intune. We’ve seen this more deliberate approach to features in many of their other products over the years, and we’ll see it again. This is why most pure-Intune deployments that I hear of are at mid-size and smaller companies. (I’m sure I’m going to get an email or Twitter comment about this anecdote, but again, we’ve seen this before, for example with RDS versus other desktop virtualization products.)

Moving on—this week we also heard some rumors about a new iPod touch, again with a 4” screen. iPod touches are still in widespread use in retail and rugged environments. (Think iPods with barcode scanner or credit card reader cases, deployed in retail and healthcare.) The previous generation of iPods (with A8 chips) should still get a couple more years of iOS updates, but a newer model would certainly be welcome.

More notes

If you only read one article about the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, read this one by Steve Sinofsky. It’s a great overview of trends. It’s also long.

After I wrote my Windows 7 end of life story, Jeremy Moskowitz of PolicyPak mentioned their 2018 Windows 10 Migration survey and report, and it’s definitely work looking over. I won’t give up all the information, but it was interesting that one of the top migration challenges is actually file type associations. It’s the little things!

Speaking of Windows 7 to 10 migrations, Microsoft made Desktop App Assure generally available this week. I’m really curious to hear stories from the field on this, so if you use it, you know where to find me!

According to a story in Forbes, a federal judge in California has ruled that police can’t force you to use biometrics to unlock your phone. It will take a while for this to be completely settled and filter out to all law enforcement agencies, as it could be overturned, but if, and when, this finally becomes common practice, it will be a huge win for mobile security.

Cláudio Rodrigues has published an RDS to Parallels RAS migration tool/script. I know Parallels has been trying to get the word out about RAS more, so if you’ve wanted to kick the tires, Cláudio’s tool might be helpful. Claudio has a connection to RAS, via his former company Terminal-Services.NET, which was acquired by 2X, which was acquired by Parallels (which was recently acquired by Corel).

The IBM MaaS360 release notes and other resource have a new home. Bookmark MaaS360 Ongoing Education.

Also in user education, Citrix announced a new collection of resources called Citrix Tech Zone. I’ve bookmarked this so I can check out all the videos.

Google is raising G Suite Basic and Business prices by 20% (Enterprise is staying the same). This isn’t the biggest news on its own, but it was interesting to learn that this was the first price increase ever. (Via ZDNet.)

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