Category Archives: Microsoft 365

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Computex 2018: Microsoft outlines vision for how partners can build intelligent edge devices and solutions

Today at Computex 2018, Nick Parker, Corporate Vice President, Consumer and Device Sales – along with executives from Microsoft’s engineering, marketing, and research teams – shared more about our vision for the future of computing and the opportunity it represents for our device partners.
Nick Parker, corporate vice president, Consumer and Device Sales and Roanne Sones, corporate vice president, Platforms, Microsoft Corp. on stage at Computex 2018 with the new the 70” Windows Collaboration Display from Sharp.

“The opportunity to leverage AI, ubiquitous computing, Microsoft 365, multi-device and multi-sense experiences has never been greater. Together we can create new, compelling devices and experiences in the era of the intelligent edge and intelligent cloud.
To accelerate innovation in this new era we invite all our partners to join our intelligent edge partner community. The community will help partners connect with one another to identify opportunities to collaborate on technology innovation and achieve shared business goals. In addition, community members will be able to participate in trainings and community events and can participate in early adopter programs that provide access to documentation, specs, OS builds and certification details. To sign up, simply head to this page.
Today, in Taipei, we announced a new category of teamwork devices; Windows Collaboration Displays. These large interactive displays will let people experience Microsoft 365 collaboration tools: Office, Teams, and Whiteboard at room scale, and include built-in sensors that can connect to Azure IoT spatial intelligence capabilities. This incredible technology will allow facility managers to utilize environmental data to make real-time decisions. A variety of collaboration displays, from Sharp and Avocor will be available later this year.
We also announced Windows 10 IoT Core Services. This new service offering enables partners to commercialize a secure IoT device backed by industry-leading support. It provides device makers the ability to manage updates for the OS, apps, settings, and OEM-specific files, and is backed by 10 years of support.
Using Microsoft’s programs, platforms and suite of services, our partners are bringing to life a breadth of devices at the Intelligent Edge that delight customers and empower them to do more. Microsoft 365 enables people and organizations to embrace the modern culture of work: to be more creative, work together more effectively, and have a more productive experience – without sacrificing protection and security. This platform opens the door for new experiences brought to life by great hardware innovations from our partner ecosystem – that helps users fluidly go from mouse to keyboard to touch to ink – and beyond, to multi-sense scenarios like voice and vision.
Every part of our lives, every industry, and every sector of our economy is being digitally transformed. There are limitless opportunities for Microsoft partners – from the largest Azure servers to the smallest devices using Azure Sphere and everything in between.”
Head over to the Official Microsoft Blog to read more.
Updated June 5, 2018 11:04 pm

Microsoft Build 2018: Empowering developers to build intelligent apps with Microsoft 365

Ahead of his keynote tomorrow, CVP of Windows, Joe Belfiore on the Microsoft 365 Blog shared new details around how Microsoft 365 will empower developers to build intelligent apps for where and how the world works.
In case you’re unfamiliar, Microsoft 365 brings together Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), as a complete, intelligent and secure solution to empower employees. As the largest productivity platform in the world, it’s a vital part of the intelligent edge—and it enables developers to create beneficial experiences that work elegantly across many different device types and many different computing ‘senses’—including vision and voice.

Here are some highlights from the news Joe shared:
A new way to connect your phone to your PC with Windows 10 that enables instant access to text messages, photos, and notifications. Imagine being able to quickly drag and drop your phone’s photos into a document on your PC in one swift movement – without having to take your phone out of your pocket. This new experience will begin to roll out in the Windows Insider Program soon.
A new way to connect your phone to your PC with Windows 10 that enables instant access to text messages, photos and notifications.
The updated Microsoft Launcher application on Android that will support Enterprise customers with easy access to line of business applications via Microsoft Intune. Microsoft Launcher on Android will also support Timeline for cross-device application launching. Today, your Microsoft Edge browsing sessions on your iPhone or iPad are included in the Timeline experience on your Windows 10 PC. Tomorrow, we’ll show how later this year you’ll be able to access that same Timeline on your iPhone with Microsoft Edge.
Updates to Sets, an easier way to organize your stuff and get back to what you were doing. With Sets, what belongs together stays together, making it easier and faster to create and be productive. As developers, your Universal Windows Platform (UWP) application will work with Sets from the start, helping to keep your customers engaged. And with a few simple changes, your Win32 or Web applications are supported within sets as well.
For all the news announced head over to the Microsoft 365 Blog. You can also visit our Microsoft Build 2018 page to watch our Build keynotes live.

Microsoft Build 2018: Empowering developers to build intelligent apps with Microsoft 365
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Modernizing applications for our multi-sense, multi device world

Tomorrow at Build 2018, Joe Belfiore and I will have the privilege of sharing with you some of the advancements in Microsoft 365 that are focused on multi-sense and multi-device experiences. Microsoft 365 allows developers to drive more productivity and engagement holistically – in one ecosystem.
We know that building for the future comes with many complex challenges, so we have taken a practical approach to helping you be more productive when updating your existing applications. We focused on four key areas:
Provide great user productivity in our multi-sense, multi-device world
Engage your employees where they work
Deliver pragmatic deployment solutions
Make Windows your primary dev box for all your workload needs across the Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge
Great user productivity in our multi-sense, multi-device world
To support the multi-sense, multi-device world in which we live and work – the foundation of our user experiences needs to grow and adapt. With the Fluent Design System, you can use a cohesive system that spans across a variety of inputs and outputs, while embracing the uniqueness of both.

Figure 1: Fluent Design system is natural on each device
Just like Microsoft rolls out Windows 10 incrementally, most of you do the same inside of your company. If you are deploying to devices running Windows 10 Anniversary Update and later, your applications can start using modern controls right away. You’ll be able to do this through Windows UI Library and it’ll be available via NuGet. Controls in this library are the same as Windows uses in its apps and experiences, and the same that ship in the Windows 10 SDK.
Artificial intelligence is a key part of the modernization journey, and tomorrow I will show a proof of concept of how the Windows AI platform enables Microsoft Word to evaluate machine learning models using the hardware resources available on the Intelligent Edge. Developers can solve problems that are impractical to solve using traditional algorithms, as well as train models for line of business applications.
And, for those of you are updating your existing WPF, Windows Forms, or native Win32 applications incrementally, you can use UWP XAML Islands to incorporate the Fluent Design System in your application, regardless of the app model. Now, all Windows applications can adopt Fluent regardless of the UI stack. This includes popular controls like WebView (EdgeHTML), MediaPlayerElement, SwapChainPanel, modern InkCanvas, etc.
Additionally, you will be able to use a new project from Cognitive Service Labs called Project Ink Analysis. This Artificial Intelligence system is what we use to make sense of messy handwriting and shape recognition. It will allow you to build inking applications on both Windows as well as other platforms, leveraging the incredible AI ink services from the cloud.
Microsoft 365: Engage your employees where they work
With the power of the Microsoft Graph, you can extend your app’s reach beyond the “four corners” of a single device, enhancing users’ experiences across mobile and desktop. It connects app and cloud experiences and provides an opportunity to enrich every application with data, tools, and insights through a single consistent REST API, along with SDKs across several platforms.
This year new API sets, webhooks, and capabilities are expanding across Microsoft Graph. Applications can add Activities to the Windows Timeline (now generally available) and gain cross-device consistency and immediate user context.  Applications can also harness the Microsoft Graph in their own applications, including new open source Microsoft Graph UWP controls and SDKs for Java.  New Open API 3.0 endpoints for Microsoft Graph boost interoperability with different systems.
You can also deliver your app’s content in front of your customers who use Office daily and provide a way for them to interact directly with your solution, with new support for Adaptive Cards.

Figure 2: Adaptive Cards in Outlook let you address issues directly within your inbox.
Adaptive Cards, including new payment cards, support a rich and visual language for embeddable experiences. We’re bringing this format to Microsoft Teams and Outlook, letting you convert complex workflow updates into a two-click streamlined experience right within your inbox, and using the same consistent JSON markup across apps.
We’re also announcing that has new support and tools for developers, including new JavaScript APIs. You can extend Excel calculation with custom function support, as well as integrated support for calling Machine Learning models. New support for Power BI Custom Visuals in Excel lets you add engaging visualizations to your app.
Pragmatic deployment solutions
I am excited announce that .NET Core 3 will help you update your .NET version independently of the system – simplifying enterprise catalog management. You will be able to run multiple instances of .NET Core 3 side-by-side on the same computer, which means you can update Windows Forms, WPF, and UWP applications to a new version of .NET without updating the entire system. This will be released in 2019.
Also, our MSIX application container is a complete containerization solution that inherits all the great features from UWP. And, MSIX now supports Windows 7. Once you update from Windows 7 to Windows 10, your application gets all of the rich containerization features for free.
Make Windows your primary dev box for all your workload needs across the Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge
We’re committed to making Windows the best dev box for projects spanning the Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge. Your feedback has guided us in this mission and we’re excited to announce the following improvements:
The latest update to Notepad includes support for Linux line endings, so it now responds to Linux files and line breaks appropriately.
Hyper-V w/XRDP for Linux now has enhanced session support for Linux VMs through a collaboration with the XRDP open source project. It’s faster, no more mouse delays and tighter integration for easy sharing of drives and the clipboard.
To enable you to use the latest Android emulator side-by-side with Hyper-V VMs, Docker tooling, the HoloLens emulator and more, the Android emulator is now compatible with Hyper-V. A preview for you to explore will be available tomorrow.
Boxstarter and Chocolatey together provide an effective solution to dev machine setup that is repeatable, reliable, and fast. Microsoft will be contributing to the open source projects alongside the rest of the community, and we’ve started a sample script project on GitHub where we can all collaborate on setup scripts for various dev scenarios.

New capabilities of Windows Defender ATP further maximizing the effectiveness and robustness of endpoint security

Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. A trusted and secure computing environment is a critical component of our approach. When we introduced Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) more than two years ago, our target was to leverage the power of the cloud, built-in Windows security capabilities and artificial intelligence (AI) to enable our customers’ to stay one step ahead of the cyber-challenges.
With the next update to Windows 10, we are further expanding Windows Defender ATP to provide richer capabilities for businesses to improve their security posture and solve security incidents more quickly and efficiently. Let’s dive in into these new capabilities in more detail.
Automatic investigation and remediation of threats
Now you can go from alert to remediation in minutes—at scale! Automated investigation and response dramatically reduces the volume of alerts that security analysts need to handle. It uses artificial intelligence to investigate alerts, exercise in minutes sophisticated playbooks mimicking the best human analysts’ decisions and forensic processes, determine if a threat is active, its origin and then decide the appropriate steps to automatically remediate it. When Windows Defender ATP identifies that the incident includes multiple machines, it automatically expands the investigation across the entire scope of breach and performs the required actions on those in parallel. Threat investigation and remediation decisions can be taken automatically by Windows Defender ATP based on extensive historical data collected, stored and analyzed in our cloud (“time travel”).

With the new security automation capabilities, Windows Defender ATP can now prevent and find breaches; it can fix them. These actions can be set to run automatically for simple, clear-cut cases, or can be reviewed prior to execution. Either way, time and effort are saved by SecOps, enabling those talented professionals to focus on more complex and strategic problems. In addition, the organization’s security team moves faster, thereby better executing on their critical mission.
Microsoft 365 conditional access based on device-risk
If a threat gets detected, the next logical step would be to block access to your sensitive business data from the device while the threat is still active. This is now possible! We worked with our colleagues from the Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory (AAD) team, to enrich one of our most popular security scenarios of Microsoft 365 conditional access.
Available in the next update, the dynamic machine risk level can be used to define corporate access policies and prevent risk to corporate data.
As an example, if a bad threat lands on your endpoints, even using the most advanced file less attacks, Windows Defender ATP can detect it and automatically protect your precious corporate information through conditional access. In parallel, Windows Defender ATP will start an automated investigation to quickly remediate the threat. Once the threat is remediated, based on the preference set (automatic or reviewed), the risk level is set back to “no risk” – and access is granted again.

With Windows Defender ATP, you can now control access based on the risk level of the device itself, helping to ensure devices are always trusted.
Advanced hunting
When it comes to more complex issues, security analysts seek rich optics and the right tools to quickly hunt and investigate. We developed a new, powerful query-based search that we call Advanced Hunting designed to unleash the hunter in you.
With Advanced Hunting, you can proactively hunt and investigate across your organization’s data. From now process creation, file modification, machine login, network communication, registry update, remediation actions and many other event types – are entities you can now easily query, correlate and intersect. Advanced hunting is an integral part of our investigation experience, so your hunting results, such as machines and files, can leverage the rich set of features we already provide in Windows Security Center (correlate with worldwide information, VT data, trigger block or containment actions etc.)
To help you get started, we added a set of sample queries within the tool, and we also have a project on GitHub which contains additional sample queries.
Here’s a sample query which hunts for persistence or privilege escalation done by attaching a debugger process to Windows accessibility processes.
RegistryEvents
| where RegistryKey startswith @"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionImage File Execution Options"

    and RegistryValueName contains "debugger"

    and isnotempty(RegistryValueData)

// Parse the debugged process name from the registry key

| parse RegistryKey with @"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionImage File Execution Options" DebuggedFile

| where DebuggedFile in~ ("utilman.exe","osk.exe","magnify.exe","narrator.exe","displayswitch.exe","atbroker.exe","sethc.exe", "helppane.exe")

| project Technique="AttachedDebugger", DebuggedFile, DebuggerCommandline=RegistryValueData, InitiatingProcessCommandLine, EventTime, ComputerName
Signal sharing across the Intelligent Security Graph
Our services also learn from each other. Through the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph (ISG) we share detections to automatically update our protection and detection mechanism across Microsoft 365 and orchestrate remediation. For example, if a threat gets detect by any of the Windows Defender ATP components, that threat will instantly be blocked if it is encountered through an email that is protected by Office 365 ATP – and the other way around.

When it comes to investigating threats, other Microsoft ATP services might have information important to understanding the full picture. We are excited to share that we are expanding how Windows, Office, and now Azure Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) work together. We are providing wider Advanced Threat Protection coverage across identities (Azure ATP), apps and data (Office 365 ATP) and devices (Windows Defender ATP). This means relevant information is displayed right at your fingertips and seamless navigation between the consoles without losing context.
We added improved prevention for ransomware, exploits and advanced attacks.
Attackers are using new techniques like “fileless” attacks to compromise and deliver ransomware and other types of malware. To address these types of threats we significantly improved our existing exploit protection and behavior monitoring techniques which are already consistently earning top scores on independent tests to protect from these scenarios. Cloud protection has also been updated to inspect and block a broader range of content types (e.g.: java scripts, macros, and documents) regardless of whether it was downloaded from the web, USB stick, etc.
We’ve added new capabilities to prevent unauthorized lateral movement and new techniques to address aggressive ransomware attacks that attempt to render devices unbootable through boot sector tampering (e.g.: NotPetya).
Faster performance and reaction times to fast-moving outbreaks have also been added. The Intelligent Security Graph can now be used to instantly update devices with the latest dynamic intelligence as soon as a new outbreak is detected.  We’ve also added new accelerated memory scanning capability which takes advantage of Intel’s Threat Detection Technology (TDT). This capability leverages Intel’s integrated graphics processor to live-scan memory for advanced threats offering improved performance, user experience, and better battery life.
Microsoft Secure Score
We all know that fixing a problem before it happens, is the best way to keep you safe. Windows Secure Score does this by helping you run reports on your devices’ security posture and providing actionable recommendations, ensuring your entire organization is fortified against the next attack. But we know that the security state of devices is not everything, that’s why we display your Secure Score across Windows and Office in a single view with the Microsoft Secure Score.

If you’re worried about the latest threat, we’ve got you covered with a new dashboard that provides insights about the exposure level of your organization – currently for the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerability, so you can easily understand what machines are still exposed. This includes information about your network, operating system updates, and microcode level information against these threats.
Windows Defender ATP today
These new Windows Defender ATP innovations place an emphasis on leveraging intelligence, cloud, and analytics to build deeper levels of advanced threat protection for our customers. We are expanding the platform coverage beyond Windows 10: Windows Defender ATP is now built into Windows Server 2019, is currently in private preview for Windows 7 and 8.1 with general availability coming soon, and extends across macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android devices through our Microsoft Intelligent Security Association.
All these new capabilities are already available in Public Preview today. Sign up for a 90-day trial of Windows Defender ATP today or enable Preview features on existing tenants.

Training Haiti’s radiologists: St. Louis doctor takes her teaching global

From Missouri to Haiti
Radiology is often crucial in identifying and diagnosing injuries or diseases efficiently and accurately. Medical imaging techniques, such as x-ray, ultrasound and computed tomography (CT), have advanced alongside technology. Dr. Jennifer Nicholas has a long history of working to improve diagnostic imaging capacity and radiology training around the world, having traveled to Nicaragua, Kenya and Haiti to improve training for radiology residents and, ultimately, the outcomes for patients.
In September of 2016, she joined Washington University School of Medicine as an assistant professor and pediatric radiologist who practices at Saint Louis Children’s Hospital. As part of Washington University’s Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Jennifer is helping to develop a global outreach program, part of which involves providing radiology training in Haiti to residents at Hôpital de l’Universite d’Etat d’Haiti (HUEH), the state hospital in Port-au-Prince. One of the first stops on that journey, however, was at a mall in Missouri to explore device and technology solutions that would enable her to deploy a tablet-based curriculum, which utilized tools like PowerPoint for presentations and OneNote to serve as a dynamic professional toolbox.
A Particular Request
Upon meeting her in the Saint Louis Galleria, Jo Otey, business sales specialist at Microsoft Store, showed Jennifer how Surface Pro 4 and Office 365 would provide her with a way to seamlessly facilitate the tablet-based radiology curriculum in Haiti.
Jennifer’s goal was to create a flipped classroom environment in Haiti. Educators use a flipped classroom to break free from the traditional paradigm of educational lectures in a classroom. In this case, Jennifer’s flipped classroom needed to extend across geographic, cultural, and linguistic boundaries so the residents could complete their assigned reading, interpret cases, and create preliminary reports in advance of their virtual conference with Jennifer where the cases were reviewed, and the lectures given.
In September, Jo traveled to Haiti with Jennifer at her request to lay the groundwork for the flipped classroom at HUEH and help train the radiology residents on the technology. While the idea of flipped learning is not new, Jennifer’s program would take the concept to a new level. Radiology residents would be required to read course materials pre-loaded on the Surface Pro 4, interpret cases, and create preliminary reports in advance of a virtual conference and lecture where the case studies are reviewed.
The Flipped Classroom
Once Jennifer and Jo opened the possibilities of Business essentials to implement the curriculum, she discovered how transitioning to Microsoft 365 Business gave her the ability to manage devices remotely and securely and deploy new apps to the residents. Jennifer also had the ability to restrict usage of the devices until the residents completed the curriculum for the course. In addition to Microsoft 365 Business, Jo and Jennifer discovered solutions major challenges such as file sharing for the curriculum, facilitation, and communication limitations (language barriers and productivity tools). SharePoint allows her a means of monitoring the curriculum, usage, and progress of the radiology residents.

Since September, the residents have been preparing for the formal launch of the curriculum and Jennifer has noticed a major shift in the computer literacy of the radiology residents, due in part to the decision to use Surface Pro 4 with Windows and Office. The residents have been quick to take advantage of features like Skype for Business to interact with their colleagues within and outside of the Haiti. Microsoft Translator has helped bridge the language gap. Program participants can translate English coursework and reading into their native French to better understand the information, then translate to English to communicate curriculum-based questions to faculty. With OneNote, the residents create a virtual residency toolbox, and Jennifer will be able to use Forms to facilitate quizzes and surveys. Jennifer can then easily deploy apps and curriculum either in Haiti or the United States via a simple Microsoft 365 Business dashboard.
“The current infrastructure of the radiology department at HUEH is traditional x-ray film and paper printouts of relevant ultrasound images with hand-written reports,” says Jennifer. “During their careers, this group of radiologists will lead the transition to digital imaging in Haiti.  In addition to the radiology content the residents are learning through this curriculum, the computer skills they are strengthening with the use of the Surface Pro 4 and Windows will be invaluable as they negotiate new technology in the future.”
Currently, the radiology residency in Haiti includes 13 residents across the three-year program, but the curriculum also includes eight recent graduates of the program who are newly-minted practicing radiologists in Haiti. More than 20 Surface Pro4 were distributed to the radiologists-in-training. The resident doctors are responding positively to the program and are excited about the technology.
Unfortunately, the unexpected arrival of Hurricane Irma as the new devices were being implemented forced Jennifer and team to have to evacuate two days early. Still, the program is under way and Jennifer looks forward to the expansion of future global health programs in other parts of the world where there are radiology residents who are eager to learn, but their access to the latest educational resources is limited.
“I look forward to evaluating the curriculum in 2018,” says Jennifer. “I will be tracking how the residents are using the devices and the educational resources loaded on them. I will also evaluate how the residents’ levels of confidence in interpreting radiology studies have improved. During my last trip to Haiti, I was approached by doctors from other specialties who have heard about the curriculum and are interested in how they might be able to implement similar programs with their residents.”
Visit your local Microsoft Store to meet with a business sales specialist, explore device and technology solutions, and discover free resources like Office Hours that will help you to achieve more.

Independence Blue Cross modernizes the workplace with Microsoft 365

Early in my career I recall the days where I would drive to work and sit at my desk using my large CVT monitor and tower PC working on a new marketing plan for a seasonal campaign. I would then email the plan or fax to multiple people in different locations for a follow-up conference call a few days later. That type of workstyle is a distant memory and speed agility with an increasing need for real-time collaboration is critical to business agility and success. Today organizations across the globe are increasingly becoming more mobile, with more employees working from home or a remote location to accommodate a flexible workstyle. In fact, studies show employees are not at their desk 50-60 percent of the time.*
Over the past year Microsoft has been actively working with Independence Blue Cross (IBX), with headquarters in Philadelphia, which provides health insurance for more than 2.5 million people to help deliver a low cost yet highly productive solution for their mobile workforce
Challenged to support its increasingly mobile workforce and safeguard customers’ personal medical information, IBX worked with Microsoft Consulting Services to upgrade to Microsoft 365, which includes Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365 ProPlus, and Enterprise Mobility & Security suite. So far, it has deployed 3,300 licenses on desktops across the company, the first step in upgrading its entire workforce.
One of the main drivers of moving to the Microsoft 365 suite of products was the native security and mobility functionality in Windows 10 and the collaboration capabilities in Office 365 ProPlus. IBX improved mobility and increased productivity for its employees all while reducing operational costs. And with Microsoft 365, IBX is able to modernize their workplace through managed services, empowering IBX with more creativity, security, and simplicity in their environment and for their employees, wherever they decide to work.
“Our company has a very ambitious work-from-home strategy. Giving employees the ability to go where their responsibilities take them, and ensuring they can work and communicate securely from any location and on any device, is fundamental to our vision for the business,” said Steve Giuliano, Vice President of Technology at Independence Blue Cross.
With Windows 10 and the Semi-Annual servicing model through Windows as a Service, employees are able to download the latest updates to their devices at their convenience versus having the IT team schedule deployments with each department and interrupting their work for hours on end.
“We considered the partnership with Microsoft our safety net, giving us the right amount of planning help to navigate our concerns, avoid potential roadblocks, and make sure the upgrade would go smoothly,” said Katherine Kuznetsov, Director of Infrastructure Systems at Independence Blue Cross. Kuznetsov added IBX employees appreciated the way the company deployed Windows 10, calling it a “significant win for [IBX] as a company.”
IBX is making the most of Windows 10 security and management options to serve the needs of its workers wherever they are. IBX relies on Microsoft System Security Configuration Manager and Windows Defender Anti-Virus, allowing IBX to manage devices and provide updates to the operating system much simpler by providing a consistent experience across all devices while keeping data and applications secure and consistently up to date. Additionally, the company is also looking at Windows Defender Device Guard and Credential Guard to protect employees further.
One of the exciting outcomes of the workplace modernization taking place at IBX is the company’s desire and interest in the latest hardware innovations on the Windows 10 platform. Having moved to Windows 10, IBX now makes Microsoft Surface devices a standard offering. Employees who need a new computer can choose a Surface Pro 4 device, and the company is taking advantage of Surface Hub for enhanced teamwork and collaboration in the conference room.
Windows 10 Reduces Costs and Complexity for Independence Blue Cross
Standardizing on Windows 10 provides reduced cost benefits for IBX. According to Giuliano, the comprehensive platform and native functionality that Windows 10 provides adds up to big benefits. For example, the company has reduced complexity and lowered costs by hundreds of thousands of dollars eliminating several third-party applications.
“With Windows 7, we had to use add-on products for things like endpoint device management and USB port management,” he said. “Now we do all that with our OS. Every time Microsoft adds a security feature to Windows 10 that takes a third-party product off our computers, it’s a win for us.”
By enabling IBX employees to have the flexibility to do work remotely or from home, and without the need to provide a dedicated desk for every employee every day, IBX is seeing a deeper cost savings as they recover more than 35,000 square feet of prime office space in downtown Philadelphia, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in operational expenses.
“Thanks to Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus, we’re making it even easier to work from home than it is to work at the office,” Giuliano said. “That’s really what people want—the ability to work anywhere without location creating some technical obstacle they have to overcome. They want to know that our company is protecting sensitive information and providing them with a reliable experience wherever they choose to work.”
With the combination of Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus, and Enterprise Mobility + Security suite brought together in Microsoft 365, IBX has delivered a complete, intelligent, secure solution that empowers everyone to be creative and work together, securely. IBX empowered their employees with more freedom and flexibility with modern mobile devices. Wherever people decide to work, IBX has the same goal for all its employees: “save people five minutes a day.”
“We work hard to achieve that goal, and tools like Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus make that process more refined,” he said. “It’s not about dramatic changes; it’s about all the small ways that things are just a little easier. It’s that idea of saving people five minutes a day, multiplied by thousands of employees and thousands of devices.”
It’s exciting to see the impact of a modern workplace powered by Microsoft 365 taking place at IBX.
*Global Workplace Analytics

Microsoft 365 security and management features available in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Last week, we shared the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update has begun rolling out to customers and we highlighted some of our favorite features for people who love and use Windows every day.
Windows 10 is running on more than 500 million monthly active devices and continues to gain momentum in enterprises, small businesses and education organizations with 90% growth in commercial devices year over year. In a recent Forrester survey of 482 enterprise global decision makers, they reported that 34% of company-issued PCs are running Windows 10.*
Today, we’re excited to share more about the security and management enhancements we’ve made that empower our commercial customers on their journey to digitally transform and support their Modern Workplace with Microsoft 365. We’re also providing more detail and guidance to IT administrators about how the Fall Creators Update will roll out to our customers in the coming weeks.
Top 10 Security & Management Features in the Fall Creators Update
The cyber threat landscape today requires an ongoing and relentless focus on security, and IT administrators need tools that help them prevent, protect, defend and respond to threats as well as modernize their workplace to empower employee creativity and productivity. Here are a few of our top enhancements for IT in the Fall Creators Update.
Windows AutoPilot is a new cloud service that makes it possible for any PC to be enterprise-ready, with a simple self-service out of box user experience that IT can personalize for their organization and eliminate the need for IT to reimage, touch or manually provision Windows 10. Starting in January 2018, OEM partners Lenovo, HP, Panasonic, Toshiba and Fujitsu will join surface in supporting Windows AutoPilot. Read more about Windows AutoPilot.
Windows Defender Application Guard makes Microsoft Edge the most secure browser for enterprise by hardware isolating the browser away from your apps, data, network and even Windows itself. WDAG protects your Microsoft Edge browsing sessions so if users encounter malware or hacking attempts while online they won’t impact the rest of your PC. Read more about Windows Defender Application Guard.
Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection now provides a ‘single pane of glass’ view across the Windows preventative protection security stack, for better and more manageable protection, detection, investigation and response. The new security analytics dashboard provides recommendations to improve your security posture. In addition, a set of new APIs give you intuitive access to pull data or perform response actions. Read more about Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection.
Windows Defender Application Control is a new solution that leverages the same application control technology from Windows Defender Device Guard, while removing the steep hardware, driver, and kernel mode software requirements. WDAC can run on any Windows 10 capable device with Windows 10 Enterprise and uses the power of the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph (ISG) to automate the application control list making management easy. Read more about Windows Defender Application Control.
Windows Defender Exploit Guard protects devices from intrusion, contacting malicious locations on the internet, and fileless-based attacks using seemingly innocuous content types, like documents. WDEG includes a rich set of vulnerability mitigation built in to Windows 10 that was previously available in the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, reducing potential exploits of vulnerabilities in the platform and apps. Read more about Windows Defender Exploit Guard.
Controlled Folder Access in Windows Defender Exploit Guard helps protect against viruses and ransomware by only allowing trusted applications to access protected folders and documents. If an unauthorized application, even a new unknown malware variant, attempts to access protected data, it will be denied access even if it manages to get past other defenses. Read more about controlled folder access.
Windows Defender Antivirus enhancements, like new instant protection technology, use the power of the cloud and artificial intelligence built on top of the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph (ISG) to provide next generation antivirus support to protect customers from quickly evolving polymorphic malware. Read more about Windows Defender Antivirus.
Windows Assigned Access improvements provide the ability to customize and lock down Windows devices to specific tasks or experiences for Firstline Workers and kiosks; and cloud-based tools enable IT to maintain these devices remotely. Organizations can now quickly set up and maintain locked down single purpose devices with improved tools, enabling single app and multi-app uses. Read more about Windows Assigned Access multi-app support.
Windows Hello improvements including new factors such as proximity, location, dynamic lock and Intel Authenticate support make it easier to deploy and more secure. With stolen credentials being one of the leading causes for breaches, moving away from passwords should be a top priority for every organization. Read more about Windows Hello.
Windows 10 Subscription Activation uses AAD entitlement from the cloud making it easier for customers to activate and use all these great features in Windows 10 Enterprise. It enables Windows 10 Pro devices to seamlessly step up to Windows 10 Enterprise without on-premise infrastructure, product keys or reboots based simply on an entitled user logging on. Read more about Windows 10 Subscription Activation.
We’re also helping our enterprise customers with new tools and resources to aid deployments, servicing and compliance.
We shared new Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) resources to help our customers accelerate their GDPR compliance with details on security features and capabilities built into Windows 10.
We added Device Health to the Windows Analytics suite to help reduce support costs by proactively identifying and remediating top employee-impacting device issues. We also provided enterprise customers with a new diagnostic setting specifically to enable Windows Analytics to provide critical business insights for the maintenance of their device ecosystem.
Now is a great time to get started running pilots within your organization and begin rolling out the Fall Creators Update to stay up to date and current with the latest security protections and management tools.
– Rob
*Forrester: “Windows 10 Finally Delivers On Microsoft’s Security Promises” October 20, 2017

Check out all the Microsoft 365 news shared at Ignite

We’re at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando, Fla., today with more than 25,000 business customers and IT leaders from around the world. We’ve shared news spanning Microsoft’s commercial businesses – Office 365, Windows 10, Enterprise Security + Mobility and much more – with a focus on how the company is empowering people and organizations to succeed in a rapidly evolving workplace and innovate for the future.
Check out more details below on how Microsoft 365 is enabling a modern workplace and empowering all workers, students, and educators with technology to be more creative, productive and secure.
Advancing intelligence, management and security to empower the Modern Workplace
All Workers Welcome with Microsoft 365
Announcing Microsoft 365 Education, a single, affordable technology solution built for education

Maximizing IT’s Impact with Microsoft 365 Powered Devices
Announcing Windows 10 S Devices for Firstline Workers

Stepping Up Protection with Intelligent Security

New Microsoft 365 Features to Accelerate GDPR Compliance
Windows resources to help support your GDPR compliance

Announcing Windows 10 S devices for Firstline Workers

For years at Microsoft, our goal was to put a computer on every desk. Now as we strive to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, we see a significant opportunity to bring technology to all workers, especially those on the front line. These two billion Firstline Workers are the people who serve as the first point of contact between an organization and its customers or products. A critical part of empowering this workforce is providing custom technology experiences and streamlined, secure devices that help them get their work done and build skills.
Today at Ignite, we shared our vision for empowering these workers, currently underserved by technology, with Microsoft 365 F1, a new plan designed to maximize the impact of the Firstline Worker. Microsoft 365 F1 also makes it easy to train and upskill employees, with Microsoft Stream to share dynamic role-based content and video, and SharePoint to easily distribute onboarding and training materials and manage institutional knowledge in one secure place.
Windows 10 S devices for Firstline Workers
Today, we also announced new commercial devices with Windows 10 S for Firstline Workers from our OEM partners HP, Lenovo, Acer, and Fujitsu starting at $275, with availability beginning later this year. Simple, secure, and easy to manage, Windows 10 S devices minimize total cost of ownership for Firstline Workers:

Simple to use: Windows 10 S delivers a familiar Windows 10 experience so Firstline Workers can get productive right away. It is designed for performance, start-ups are quick and built to stay that way so that productivity never slows down, even on entry-level devices. It offers more seamless integration with hosted VMs for remote desktop and apps for firstline worker scenarios. And it is fully integrated with OneDrive, empowering Firstline Workers to work from anywhere.
Streamlined for security: Designed with Firstline Workers in mind, Windows 10 S has the goal of preventing the most common cyber attacks like ransomware and exploits. Applications built on the Universal Windows Platform or Centennial are delivered via the Windows Store ensuring they have been verified for security and integrity. And with Microsoft Edge, Firstline Workers are protected against phishing attacks and malicious software.
Easy to manage: Windows 10 S was designed with Modern IT in mind, including cloud-based identity and management with Azure Active Directory and Microsoft Intune. Together with Windows Update for Business, organizations can manage and update Windows 10 S devices using the power and convenience of the cloud.
In a future update, organizations will be able to deploy Windows 10 Enterprise capabilities such as Credential Guard, Application Guard and benefit from centralized management of the Store, Cortana and other features on Windows 10 S devices with a Microsoft 365 subscription. With the new Windows 10 Enterprise in S mode, customers will be able to experience Windows 10 Enterprise with all the benefits of Windows 10 S – streamlined for security and low total cost of ownership.
New Windows 10 capabilities for Firstline Workers and beyond
With Microsoft 365, organizations benefit from self-service deployment, simplified management, proactive insights, and always up to date platform resulting in a low total cost of ownership for businesses.
For example, with innovations such as Windows AutoPilot, IT admins can customize the Windows 10 devices out of box setup experience with the cloud and empower employees to enroll their new device, complete with the company configuration and apps ready to go. Great for Firstline scenarios, Windows Autopilot removes the need for IT to touch the device or manage updates in person.
Today, we shared that OEM partners Lenovo, HP, Panasonic, Toshiba, and Fujitsu will join Surface in supporting Windows AutoPilot beginning in January 2018 by providing device IDs to companies on select orders.
Another important scenario for many businesses is the ability to customize and lock down devices to specific tasks or experiences for Firstline Workers and kiosks. In the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, organizations can quickly setup and maintain locked down single purpose devices with improved tools in Windows Assigned Access. In future updates, we are also building additional lockdown, customization, and anti-theft capabilities.
No matter whether you are a Firstline worker, Information worker or IT admin, with Microsoft 365, you have everything at your fingertips to enable you to achieve more. We look forward to sharing more details at Ignite!
– Bernardo