The Friday Notebook: April 14, 2017

Featuring Microsoft Graph API for Intune, Citrix versus VMware, GeekOut 365 Call for Papers, Theresa Miller on Office 365 backups, the AppConfig Community, and more!

Here’s what happened in enterprise end user computing, desktop virtualization, and enterprise mobility management space in the week leading up to April 14, 2017.


It’s been another fairly quiet week around the EUC industry, but we think our announcement is pretty big news: The GeekOut 365 Call for Papers is now open, and will run until Friday, May 5. GeekOut 365 is our online video environment that will we the successor to BriForum, and will be coming this July. To submit a session, read the guidelines and then click through to the survey here.

VDI Like a Pro is conducting a worldwide State of the VDI and SBC Union survey. Anyone who participates will get access to the full report. The team does an amazing job with all the data they collect, and, of course, the more people that take the survey, the better the results. The survey also closes on Friday, May 5.

The AppConfig Community issued its first annual report this week: Membership is up to 19 EMM vendors (the notable absences being Microsoft and Citrix) and 90 ISVs. The AppConfig Community advocates for the mobile app management features built into iOS and Android Enterprise; and helps ISVs, EMM vendors, and developers with best practices for these MAM techniques. One thing they’ve worked on is a standardized xml schema for implementing managed app configurations (a feature of iOS and Android Enterprise EMM), to help both EMM vendors and app developers. This week they announced a new developer tool to help with this, AppConfig Spec Creator.

Mark your calendars—Microsoft is having a Spring event on May 2. We know it will focus on education, but Mary Jo Foley also thinks it will cover Windows Cloud. Windows Cloud is the rumored version of Windows 10 that only gives users access to Windows Store apps, not traditional desktop apps. I actually think it’s a pretty good idea—it combines the familiarity of Windows with the stability of a mobile device and the accessibility (read: low cost) of a Chromebook—but we’ll see when and if this actually comes to fruition.

OneLogin is the latest identity and access management vendor to add a layer of machine learning to the business logic behind their authentication process. (Press release here | Our previous coverage of OneLogin here.) Basically, the idea is that you want to strike a balance between locking down access to apps and making things easy for users, so the machine learning layer can help decide when activity looks normal or suspicious. Contextual or conditional access, combined with machine learning, are coming to end user computing, and they’re going to make our lives better.

There are a couple of announcements about Microsoft Azure AD this week: Azure AD B2B is now generally available (these types of capabilities make it much easier to deal with external partners using your apps). Also, DirSync and Azure AD Sync reached their end-of-life yesterday (customers should be on Azure AD Connect now).

Our blog posts

Guest post by Theresa Miller: Office 365 lacks traditional backups, so here’s what to do instead. This may sound a bit concerning at first glance, but Theresa Miller dives into the options that will ensure you make the right decisions with the content settings available.

Jack: What does the Microsoft Graph API for Intune mean for the rest of the EMM market? With the Graph API, any vendor can integrate with Intune and use it as middleware to manage Office apps. This is a huge opportunity, but of course licensing still tilts things towards Microsoft.

Jack and Gabe: Announcing the GeekOut 365 Call for Papers

Gabe: Citrix is poised to be more aggressive as rivalry with VMware heats up. For the past few years, VMware has garnered most of the buzz in the Citrix/VMware rivalry. We may see a more aggressive Citrix and an increased rivalry heading into conference season this year.

Jack, writing in TechTarget’s Access Magazine: How mobile threat detection tools spot incoming attacks This piece introduces the basic concepts you need to know about Mobile Threat Detection (e.g., products like Lookout, Skycure, and Wandera).

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