Friday Notebook, June 28: Identiverse 2019; G Suite protections; Raspberry Pi 4

Also: Google Cloud Print; Identiverse 2019; password-less future; SSCM; IGEL growth; and more.

By Kyle Johnson and Jack Madden.

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

Our blog posts

Bas: Google Cloud Print -- A poor man’s printing solution, or is it? Bas van Kaam’s printing series continues with one of the less-discussed options.

Kyle: Raspberry Pi 4: Now the ultimate cheap thin client? It has a lot more under the hood, and it’s still inexpensive.

Jack: I’m headed to Identiverse 2019--Here’s my show preview and initial news from Ping Identity (Updated). Ping is putting on the show, but it’s more of an industry-wide conference, touching on all aspects of identity management. Includes coverage from Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kyle: We talk about a password-less future, but my accounts still have passwords. What’s the deal? I’m impatient for a day where I don’t need a password to create a corporate-facing account. 

Industry news

Another fairly quiet week for the EUC industry--summer is in full swing!

Google Cloud announced the general availability of three G Suite features: sandboxing attachments (coming soon to enterprise customers), phishing and malware protections (all customers), and confidential mode. These features were all previously announced at Google Cloud NEXT 2019. Before users see emails, any attachments get opened in a virtual sandbox so Google can analyze for malware or phishing zero-day attacks. Admins can set up rules to determine what emails get run through the virtual sandbox and quarantining procedures. The second feature is an always-on phishing and malware protection: routing suspicious emails to new/existing quarantines, identify and warn users about suspicious email attachments--then quarantine or move to spam folder, and identify emails attempting to spoof your domain and warn users or move to quarantine or spam folder. Finally, the confidential mode allows users to designate emails that recipients cannot forward, copy, download, or print. This feature also comes with the ability to set expiration dates on emails and require additional authentication (via text message) before recipients can open the email.

More reads and notes

Microsoft announced that 175 million devices are being managed by Microsoft endpoint management (SCCM and Intune). There’s no breakdown of how many devices are managed by SCCM or Intune, and how many of those managed by SCCM are from older version of SCCM. The closest indication Brad Anderson provides in the post is that in 2018, the management mix was 3 to 1 SCCM to Intune, but now apparently that number is flipped. 

Google is stepping away from the tablet market, calling it quits on developing any more Android tablets. They’re turning their focus toward laptops, instead. This decision affects devices that detach from keyboards, if they have one at all. Android tablets in general may not have taken over the high-end market dominated by Apple, but the embedded and ruggedized world is just going to keep seeing more of them.

Google has started a blog series focusing around how the company internally implemented BeyondCorp. This first blog looks at why they adopted it and how they went about doing so.

The Raspberry Pi 4 launched this week, with a lot more power under the hood. To demonstrate this, Mythic Beasts offered to run the main Raspberry Pi website using a server built out of Pi4s and see how it held up for launch day (it went live Saturday before the launch). They used 14 Pi4s for PHP processing, two for static file serving, and two more for memcaching. Pretty neat that the site stayed up. Check out the blog post to see what all went into creating the Pi4 cluster.

We’re a fan of hardware security keys at, but their acceptance in applications remains low. This limits their use and makes it difficult for users who may not always have access to a compatible browser. Google is addressing this by offering users the ability to use a one-time-use code. If the user attempts to log into an application via an unsupported browser, they’ll get a 2FA notification that says “Sign in on another device with your security key to get a code.” This feature is safer than sending a code via SMS, which is often the top alternate to a security key.  This feature is enabled by default in some G Suite accounts. 

Get a look at upcoming improvements to the Citrix Identity Platform in Citrix Cloud. Nicolas Ignoto provides a good overview of the changes headed our way. Expect to see more coverage at from Jo Harder. 

IGEL announced this week that between 2017 and 2018, they saw 45% growth in the sales of AMD-powered endpoints. It’s interesting to see just how much more prominent AMD has gotten over the last couple of years.

Mozilla announced the pilot of Firefox Preview, which will eventually replace Firefox for Android sometime in the fall. Firefox Preview uses Mozilla’s engine GeckoView and is designed to be 2x faster than Firefox for Android; has Collections, a minimalist start screen, and blocking trackers by default. It’s currently available on Google Play if you’re interested in checking it out.

Office 365/SharePoint Online users can now view and edit PDFs without having to download them first. 

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