Friday Notebook, October 18: The Byte-Size book is available for free

Also: Citrix; VMware; MSIX app attach; USB-C Titan key; cloud gaming; and more.

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

Our blog posts

Jack: Okta is making big investments in on-premises identity. Okta is also working to bring more context into access decisions.

Kyle: NIST offers a handy vendor-neutral overview of zero trust architecture. Curious about zero trust but don’t understand it yet or how to achieve it, then NIST is here to help you.

Jack at Everything EUC: Why organizations of any size should consider IDaaS. The risks of poor identity management are well known. Identity-as-a-service offerings can solve many identity-management-related issues. For companies that haven't yet, now is the time to get started.

Jack: An update on Workspot: Funding, growth, and their ‘cloud desktop fabric,’ aimed at the enterprise. Workspot is now targeting enterprise customers, with the ability to deploy, monitor, and manage, desktops across any Azure region.

Kyle: Okta competing with Microsoft, Google, and others in passwordless offerings. While giants Microsoft and Google try leading the passwordless charge, Okta also plans to help organizations cut down on password use.

Industry news

Citrix detailed performance enhancements in Citrix App Layering. They’ve offloaded compositing and are reporting much faster times.

The VMware blogs digs into enhancements in Blast Extreme in Horizon 7.10. There’s a new codec, and 7.10 now supports automatic codec switching. Also, the Zoom optimization pack is out, and 7.10 has a new browser redirection option.

Here’s VMware on macOS Catalina support in Workspace ONE.

There was more news on App Attach this week. For one, it will officially be called “MSIX app attach,” per Randy Cook, and the preview of the next version of Windows will apparently support it. Freek Berson also wrote a deep dive about using MSIX app attach with WVD. However, I (Jack) am with Kevin Goodman—I’d love to see this unleashed on physical PCs.

Google released USB-C version of Titan Security Key on Tuesday. While Google worked with Feitian when they released their USB and Bluetooth versions of the Titan Security Key, this time they partnered with Yubico, which released a USB-C/lightning Yubikey earlier this year. The USB-C Titan key retails for $40 in Google’s store.

Google announced that Stadia will launch November 19. We’ve been following Google’s foray into cloud gaming, so you can find some of the general info we already knew here. Users with a Pixel 3 or 4, Chromecast Ultra, or a computer with Chrome can give Stadia a try. I (Kyle) plan to look into the other bit of news around Stadia, the claim it will have “negative latency” and what that might look like and have more on that next week.

The other cloud gaming news is that Microsoft’s announced public preview of xCloud went live this week. To start, only a few games are available to try with xCloud: Gears 5, Halo 5, Killer Instinct, and Sea of Thieves; it’s a decent variety of new and old single-player and multiplayer experiences, so you can get a fairly decent idea of what graphics and latency might be like. Users need an Android phone or tablet running Android 6.0 and up and Bluetooth 4.0, plus a Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One controller.

The rumors about a new iPhone SE are flying fast and strong. As we’ve been pointing out for years, there’s a huge market for these older-style devices in ruggedized and frontline use cases. By keeping the same physical dimensions, button placement, and pin compatibility, Apple is ensuring that customers that invested in expensive peripherals built into cases (printers, barcode scanners, credit card readers) can use them over a longer period of time. Apple recently updated the iPod Touch, which means there’s continuity back to accessories made for the iPhone 4 (all the way back in 2012!). This new SE will cover accessories made for the iPhone 6, which came out in 2014.

Other reads, news, and notes

Christiaan Brinkhoff and Bas van Kaam’s Byte-Sized book is now available to download for free—for real, with no registration or anything!

Did you notice a new “Relocated Items” alias on macOS after updating to Catalina? That’s because Catalina makes the system volume read-only, so if apps leave anything in there, it gets moved over to the user data volume during the upgrade process. MacRumors has a good explainer.

Twelve ways kids are hacking Screen Time. My favorite is the factory reset. It also reminds me of that LAUSD story from before DEP came out. It sounds like Apple needs to make some sort of templates that will configure the policies needed to close all the loopholes at once.

Apple, China, and Safari Fraudulent Website Warning: iMore has Apple’s statement, and explains how it works.

Biometrics can be hard. This week’s examples come from Samsung and Google.

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