Microsoft Ignite 2018 announcements

Last week I had the privilege to visit Microsoft Ignite on behalf of my employer Interchange UC. During this event in Orlando, Microsoft announced a lot of new features of their products. Below you will find a summary of those announcements which I think are pretty interesting and shortcuts to the corresponding articles with more explanation on all those announcements.

Azure Active Directory

Password-less options

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Microsoft is focusing on a digital world without logging on with a password. With that in mind, Microsoft announced sign-in to Azure AD accounts with the Microsoft Authenticator app is now in Public Preview. A next step in sign-in without a password (and without providing your username) is sing-in with a FIDO2.0 security key. This will be released in Public Preview 2019 Q1.
You can read the article with all the Azure AD related announcements here.

Microsoft Intune

In my opinion by far the biggest announcement related to Intune is the option to deploy Windows (Win32) apps using Intune. Microsoft will provide a wrapping tool to wrap all kind of installers (.exe files as example) to a zip format file, ready to distribute to all your Intune managed Windows devices. Microsoft also announced Security baselines for Windows 10 in Intune. In collaboration with the security team which is responsible for the Group Policy baselines, these Intune security baselines are created for some governments and will now become publicly available.
You can find the long list with Intune (and SCCM) announcement here.

Windows AutoPilot

A year ago Windows AutoPilot was announced at Ignite 2017. In one year AutoPilot became general available and a lot of new features where added, but for Ignite 2018 there where still some new features left to announce.
Hybrid Azure AD join is now supported for user-driven deployments. You can now choose to join a local Active Directory during deployment.
More vendors are announced which will support Windows AutoPilot and Panasonic and Acer will join this group in a near future.
Read the full article on Windows AutoPilot here.

Project ‘White gloves’

AutoPilot White gloves

Not a real announcement but worth mentioning, as it is just a concept the Windows AutoPilot team is working on, is called project ‘White gloves’. 
At this time when a user receives a new device after Azure AD/ MDM enrollment (a lot of) software is installed on the device. The AutoPilot team is working on a solution for this,  with this solution all the targeted software is installed (at the vendor) before the user receives the device. With this the users OOBE will be much shorter.

Microsoft Teams

Because ‘Microsoft Teams is the fastest growing business app in Microsoft history’, I cannot skip this product in the summary.
Available from today; background blur. Probably during every session mentioning background blur, the BBC dad was shown during Teams.

Background blur

Other announcements related to Microsoft Teams; Meeting recording, a lot of Teams certified devices from different vendors which will be available in a couple of months and the Surface Hub 2 will start shipping 2019 Q2. And as a frequent user of MDM solutions I liked the announcement of Microsoft Teams Device Management.
Read the long list of Microsoft Teams announcements here.

Teams Devices Management

Hybrid Exchange

A great announcement for every person who is performing Exchange Server on-premises to Exchange Online migrations:  Exchange Modern Hybrid.
Exchange Modern hybrid is using the Microsoft Hybrid agent which will make the connection between your on-premises Exchange Server and the Exchange Online servers much less complicated as you don`t need to change DNS and open up incoming firewall ports. The agent uses the same technology as the Azure Proxy connector. At this moment Exchange Modern Hybrid is only available for new Hybrid setups.
Also announced is the second version of the Organization Configuration Tranfer (OCT v2). Read the full article here.

Exchange Modern Hybrid


The announcement I like most for OneDrive is Files On Demand for Mac. On Windows devices this a great feature to have quick access to all your files stored in OneDrive for Business or Sharepoint using Windows Explorer, but it reduces the space used on your local drive. Now it will finally become available on Mac devices as well.
Read the long list of OneDrive announcement here.

Files on Demand for Mac

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Azure Information Protection

Microsoft will bring the labeling experience for Azure Information Protection (AIP) native in the Office applications across Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. This means you can use AIP labeling on all your devices and when you are an Office Insider you can try this from this moment on Mac devices.

AIP labeling on a Mac device

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Another announcement related to AIP; Adobe will make a plugin for Adobe Reader available in a few weeks on the Windows platform. With this plugin you can view labeled PDF files direct in Adobe Reader. A solution for other platforms will be released later in the year.
Read the full article here.

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