Monday, 24 April 2017

Azure Global Bootcamp with the Calgary Microsoft User Group

April 22, 2017, the Calgary Microsoft User Group held its first Azure Global Bootcamp event by holding a hands-on event about creating virtual machines. We had a well-attended event having over 30 people in the room.

The focus was about deploying Windows and Linux virtual machines in Azure using different management methods. We started off with the Azure Portal then moved into the Azure CLI and eventually Powershell to show the different ways that Azure can be managed.

We plan to hold more hands-on Azure events as they are very popular with the group. We'd like to thank our sponsors that helped make this event a success and contribute to ensuring that we can do future events!

AMTRA Solutions
Jet Brains

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Windows 10 Creators Update (1703) Available for Download!

The Windows 10 Creators Update has hit current branch but will not be available via Windows Update until April 11, 2017. What this means for customers/enthusiasts that want to start using this release of Windows 10 they need to go out to the Windows 10 download site to get the latest release. This installation is driven by the upgrade assistant where you can create media or perform the in-place upgrade to Windows 10 1703.

For enterprise customers and developers, the ISO media for Windows 10 1703 can be found on your volume licensing site or MSDN. If you are building Windows images for deployment be sure to update your ADK environment to 1703 as well hosted over in the hardware developer center. There has been some news about potential issues with the new ADK so review the following blog articles by MVP Mikael Nystrom:

OS Deployment – Installing ADK 1703 on Windows Server 2016 could fail

OSD – App-V tools are missing in ADK 1703 when being installed on Windows Server 2016 (sometimes)

Need to know what is new with 1607 for IT Pros?
No problem, Microsoft has published documentation over here.

New Windows 10 IoT Core Images Available!

Today Microsoft has released a set of images for running Windows 10 IoT core on the Rasberry PI, DragonBoard, and MinnowBoard MAX. The announcement had me interested in what the capabilities of the platform would be since I usually end up managing devices through Configuration Manager and/or Intune.

First, let's start off with what this version of Windows is meant for. The Windows 10 IoT Core edition is the smallest footprint of Windows 10 available for devices. If you look at the infographic below, you can see that Windows 10 IoT comes in many flavors with different levels of functionality. Essentially the Windows 10 IoT Core version of Windows 10 is intended for single purpose use cases. There is no Windows shell and no command prompt, but you do get the ability to run Universal Windows Platform applications. Win32 applications are still supported, but they will not output to the console.
Many may wonder what is the point to running Windows under such limited circumstances, but I believe there are some very valid use cases that should be considered. There obviously is the hobbyist market, and though Linux is currently the dominant platform, some developers may feel more comfortable using a pure Microsoft stack to build out their custom creations. The other side is the business market where you want an IoT device that leverages existing developer expertise in the Microsoft stack and has integration into Intune or System Center Configuration Manager to provide updates and management of these devices.

When I first started looking IoT, I saw management and security taking a back seat, but as I've witnessed in the news, this lack of care and feeding has created security and operational issues. IoT was overlooked at being too basic and non-business critical to be on the radar for many organizations but now that these devices are being infected with malware, spyware and participating in BotNets all of a sudden the need for management has become a clear requirement for not just businesses but consumers as well.

It will be interesting to see where the smallest of the Windows 10 IoT editions finds itself in the marketplace but I am hesitant to write it off as a hobbyist product because of the integrated management, the ability to continue using Visual Studio and integrate your solution with Azure's IoT Suite. If you are looking for the latest releases of IoT core I've put a set of links below so you can start downloading them right away!

Rasberry Pi 2 & 3


MinnowBoard MAX