The Friday Notebook: April 21, 2017

Featuring Windows 10 servicing changes, Bromium, Cylance, iOS productivity, thoughts on enterprise mobile apps, and more!

Here’s what happened in enterprise end user computing, desktop virtualization, and mobility in the week leading up to April 21, 2017.


Windows 10, Office 365 ProPlus (the desktop applications), and SCCM releases are going to get more predictable, with a planned cadence of two feature releases per year, supported for 18 months. (Official blog post | Article by Mary Jo Foley) As Mary Jo Foley noted, this means IT departments can just do yearly updates if they want, which seems to me to strike a good balance between the waiting as long as possible approach and the unpredictable update schedule Windows 10 started out with.

Cylance is taking some heat for their performance testing. It seems that the sample malware they provide for potential customers to do the “vacuum cleaner challenge” (you know, like on infomercials where vacuum cleaner 1 only gets half the mess, but, fortunately, the supposedly superior vacuum cleaner 2 is there to clean up the rest) is tweaked so that Cylance Protect always performs well. There are a few lessons to take away from this: You should always perform your own tests using your own methods, and scanning in any way (machine learning or otherwise) for malware has limitations.

Microsoft announced something called “phone sign in” for Microsoft accounts. Basically, instead of entering your password and then a code to authenticate, all you have to do is respond to a push notification from the Microsoft Authenticator app and then scan your fingerprint or enter a PIN. It’s available for iOS and Android, not Windows 10 Mobile, and this sure has made some commenters upset.

Mobile app management vendor Apperian put out their fourth annual survey this week (registration required), and I noticed a particularly interesting question: “What is the primary goal of your enterprise mobility program?” The response “New revenue or service delivery opportunity” went from 5% in last year’s survey to 22% this year. “Increase employee satisfaction” was at 14% last year and 2% this year. It’s just one survey question, but it’s telling: Mobility isn’t around just because users want iPhones—it’s business.

It’s not really news, but this article from The Verge does a great job explaining some of the reasons why laptops and tablets are so interesting right now, declaring that “the war for cheap computers is about to begin.” The contenders? Chromebooks with Android apps, iPads, and Windows 10 Cloud (which only runs Windows Store apps). Notably absent: Phones that turn into desktops.

Lastly, I’ll remind everybody that our GeekOut 365 Call for Papers is now open, and the deadline for submissions is May 5. GeekOut 365 is the new online successor to BriForum, and we can’t wait to see what we get.

Our Articles

Jack: Is iOS app integration good enough yet? Thoughts on Apple’s Workflow acquisition. Inter-app communication is one way Apple seems to be positioning iPads as a laptop replacement while keeping them distinct from MacBooks.

Jack: A curated list of enterprise mobility articles and resources - April 2017 Edition. Want to get started in enterprise mobility? Trying to answer a question? Start with this curated list.

Gabe: Why hasn't Bromium taken over enterprise antivirus and antimalware yet? When Bromium first released vSentry, you could see the potential even though it was rough around the edges. Today, it looks to be ready for prime time.

Jack: Where are your enterprise mobile apps going to come from? Here are the top 5 options. Mobility strategy? You’re probably already more mobile-enabled than you think!

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