2017 was very busy for Microsoft EM + S and as the new year begins there are even more updates and improvements.
Azure AD app launcher improvement
A new feature was introduced at the start of December that allows Azure AD administrators to conceal third-party apps from the end-user experience. With more and more third-party applications being brought into Azure AD packages and services, there’s a greater need for more tools to manage them and the ability to hide these apps from the user experience is useful for a number of reasons. Some of these could include:
- It gives end users a cleaner, less cluttered experience when using the app launcher
- New apps can be hidden while they are tested
- It makes it easier to manage apps requiring multiple instances or which are back-end services that have to be assigned to users but lack an interface
Microsoft says it also plans to introduce the ability to hide its own apps, such as Office 365 ones, from user access panels. It also says that other Azure AD features on the horizon include "role-based access control to configure local app admins and the ability to customize end-user experiences".
Update 1712 for the Technical Preview Branch Configuration Manager
The Technical Preview Branch allows new features to be tired out in a test environment before general release and Update 1712 for the Technical Preview Branch of System Center Configuration Manager saw the light of day in mid-December.
The update included a number of new preview features including:
- Surface Device dashboard improvements. This dashboard now shows the firmware version for Surface devices
- Improvements to Office 365 client management dashboard, which can now show a list of relevant devices upon selection of a section of graph
- Install multiple applications in Software Center. This mode allows the user to select multiple apps and install them all at the same time using the new ‘Install Selected’ button
- Client-based PXE, allowing configuration for PXE requests without the need to add a distribution point role
The update also included improvements based on customer feedback These improvements included:
- Renamed collections now display in existing collection membership rules
- User interaction is now allowed when installing applications, even during a task sequence
- The option to not automatically upgrade superseded applications
- Device lists now display the primary user by default
Modern Android management with Microsoft InTune
At the end of the month, Microsoft announced the depreciation of Device Admin Android management. This management type is now a ‘legacy’ type and will eventually be disabled. Microsoft is recommending that enterprise Android users switch to one of the two new Android enterprise management modes now.
Android enterprise, formerly known as Android for Work, introduced the work profile and device owner management modes from Android 5.0. Work profile is designed to bring your own device (BYOD) deployment and device owner is configured for deployment where the device is owned by the operation