Friday Notebook, January 24: More on Citrix vulnerability; G Suite and Windows 10; Bing snafu

Also: Chromebook app options; Neverware; BYOD; IGEL and Login VSI; Workspace ONE feature requests; Jamf Connect; Ignite 2020; and more.

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

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Kyle: Google is sunsetting Chrome apps. Let’s look at the Chrome OS app landscape. Not many people were using these apps anymore.

Jack: You should know about Neverware CloudReady when planning Chromebook and thin client projects. CloudReady is a Chromium OS variant that you can install on existing x86 hardware, and then manage with Google Chrome Enterprise alongside Chrome OS devices.

Jack: BYOD and using MDM is still an important decision! Yes, it’s been a long time since BYOD was the top buzzword in our industry, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to worry about it anymore.

I’ll be at IGEL Disrupt next week, and I’m looking forward to catching up with everybody at my first show of the year.

Industry news

The Citrix Netscaler vulnerability story continues to develop. In last week’s Friday Notebook, I recommended the story by my colleague Michael Heller, which outlined all the events so far. After I published the Notebook, Michael covered more developments: The vulnerability was found in another product, Citrix SD-WAN WANOP, and the original mitigation suggested wouldn’t work on certain builds of ADC. In the most curious incident, FireEye discovered attacks where somebody was accessing NetScaler devices, cleaning up malware, and then installing their own backdoor. Citrix has pushed up the timeline for the patches, and announced a free FireEye tool to help look for signs of compromise. You can also check out Thomas Poppelgaard’s blog for a full timeline.

In the meantime, Citrix announced their 2019 full year and Q4 earnings, which beat expectations. Like many businesses, Citrix is in the process of converting customers from one-time purchases to subscriptions. They noted on the earnings call that they now have 7.1 million subscribers (i.e., user seats at customers), and in Q4, 69% of product bookings came from subscriptions. They indicated that this was less than 10% of their install base.

Ahead of IGEL Disrupt next week, IGEL and Login VSI announced that Login Enterprise is fully integrated in IGEL OS 11.03. Login Enterprise is the new name for Login PI, a monitoring tool that was really groundbreaking when it came out.

G Suite is getting some Windows 10 management capabilities, including the ability to log into a device using G Suite credentials, some device attestation features, and basic device management. You can sign up for the beta now. I plan to take a closer look at this between now and Google Cloud Next, which is in April in San Francisco. Two years ago at Google Cloud Next 2018, I was told something like this could be coming, but as of the 2019 Cloud Next show, the management plans were on hold in favor of a Chrome extension for device attestation. Either way, this is something that could be useful for smaller “born in the cloud” G Suite customers that need some basic management features, so it’s good to see.

There’s a new feature request site for VMware Workspace ONE—get going with you ideas!

There was a widespread response of “Ugh! Seriously?” to news that Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus would, by default, automatically change users’ search engines to Bing. (Via ZDNet.) SwiftOnSecurity noted that Windows Defender would classify this as malware, according to their published criteria. Here’s a UserVoice post requesting that Microsoft walk back these plans.

Microsoft finally announced the date and location of Ignite 2020 (the big one, not the tour): September 21 to 25, in New Orleans.

Jamf announced that Jamf Connect can now be configured directly by Jamf Pro, making device enrollment process smoother. Jamf has a pretty active roadmap for Connect, as we saw at JNUC 2019

More reads and notes

Jason Bayton has written a very thorough look at Android in the enterprise over the last decade, including an overview of Android Enterprise. If you need to get someone up to speed on the state of Android, this is the article for that. It was also a fun read, as it made me think back to the days of 3LM and all the early dual persona Android attempts, like VMware Horizon Mobile Virtualization Platform, Cellrox, Knox 1.0, and others.

Bitsight, a “security ratings platform” (whatever that is), published a study on how much Windows 7 is still out there. According to their data, almost 70% of organizations have a least some Windows 7 machines. Take note when looking at Bitsight’s graphs and statements—they mostly cover how many organizations have at last some Windows 7 devices, not how many Windows 7 devices those organizations have. They did share a few of these numbers, though. Of the organizations that do have Windows 7, at about half of them, it’s less than 10% of their machines. So, not terrible, I suppose. However, at 32% of the organizations that have Windows 7, it’s running on more than a quarter of their machines.

Microsoft revealed developer tools for the Surface Duo, their planned dual-screen folding Android phone. I’ve mostly been ignoring all these folding devices (I think that means I’m old now), but I was intrigued to read an article about it in Dieter Bohn’s newsletter, titled “Microsoft’s software plan for the Duo Android phone is surprisingly realistic.” For example, Microsoft isn’t messing around with trying to make a screen that folds, and by default apps only are only displayed on one screen at a time. Both of those sound very realistic ideas, as Dieter wrote.

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