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Microsoft 365

Use the power of cloud intelligence to simplify and accelerate IT and the move to a modern workplace

We live and work in a time in which there is more change happening at a more rapid pace than ever before. The way in which organizations empower employees across all their devices is changing rapidly as they deliver work experiences that are more empowering and transformative for their users. Organizations desire to move to a consistent and unified way to enable their users across all their devices and are looking for guidance on the best way to do this that is both empowering and secure.

As I share in my vision blog today, core to modern management and security is delivering users the modern workplace that empowers them to achieve more across all their devices, while providing the required security and protection of the organization’s assets. The modern workplace delivered through Microsoft 365 is loved by users, loved by IT, and trusted by everyone. Users love this experience because they can work how, when, and where they want without reduction in functionality or experience. IT loves this experience because it provides a common and consistent method and tool to manage and enable users across all their devices while also delivering the security and protection they require. Users and IT trust this solution because both the user’s privacy and the organization’s data and assets are secure.

I’m excited to share with you some announcements we’re making today to simplify IT management and bring this vision for the future to life:

  • Embrace modern management to manage and secure your devices with the unified Microsoft Endpoint Manager.
  • Empower organizations with insights that transform how work gets done and drive impact with Microsoft Productivity Score.
  • Simplify meeting room management with Managed Meeting Rooms service.
  • Address app compatibility with the new Microsoft Edge and Windows Virtual Desktop, with an expansion of the Desktop App Assure program.
  • Expand your virtualization approach with new options like Linux thin client support with Windows Virtual Desktop.
  • Simplify administration with updates to the Microsoft 365 admin center and Office 365 Groups.

The future of management: Microsoft Endpoint Manager

Today, System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) and Microsoft Intune are managing 200 million devices. ConfigMgr and Intune provide integrated cloud-powered management tools, and unique co-management options to provision, deploy, manage, and secure endpoints and applications across an organization. Our management vision has not been as simple as it could be. ConfigMgr and Intune have both played a role, but it hasn’t always been clear what the future holds. So, let me be very clear—this vision includes both ConfigMgr and Intune. Co-management isn’t a bridge; it’s a destination.

To deliver on this vision and greatly simplify our approach, today I’m excited to announce Microsoft Endpoint Manager. Microsoft Endpoint Manager is the convergence of Intune and ConfigMgr functionality and data—plus new intelligent actions—offering seamless, end-to-end management solution without the complexity of a migration or disruption to productivity. Microsoft Endpoint Manager provides transformative modern management and security that meets customers where they are and helps them move to the cloud. In addition to Intune and ConfigMgr, Microsoft Endpoint Manager includes the Device Management Admin Center (DMAC) and Desktop Analytics.

To make this easier for you as well, we’re also announcing today that we’re simplifying licensing, and we are making the licensing to Intune available to all ConfigMgr customers to co-manage your Windows devices. If you would like to manage non-Windows devices through Microsoft Endpoint Manager, you will need to purchase either an Intune license, an Enterprise Mobility & Security (EMS) license, or a Microsoft 365 E3 or higher license.

Microsoft Endpoint Manager features and experiences will appear in the product over the coming months.

Announcing Microsoft Endpoint Manager

Learn how we’re integrating Microsoft Intune, Configuration Manager, and more into a single solution called Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

Insights that transform how work gets done: Microsoft Productivity Score

Every organization needs a way to determine success and business impact. However, translating productivity into measurable impact can be challenging. We’ve heard from organizations that they’d like a way to better measure how they are doing—both in regard to how employees are getting work done more efficiently, as well as how technology is enabling them to save time and be more productive. Enter Microsoft Productivity Score to give you insights that help you transform how your users get work done and drive greater business impact.

Productivity Score focuses on two areas, the Employee experience and the Technology experience, which provide visibility into how your organization works, insights to identify where you can enable improved experiences, and actions you can take to update skills and systems so everyone can do their best work.

The Employee experience shows you how Microsoft 365 is helping to create a productive and engaged workforce. By quantifying how people are collaborating on content, working from anywhere, developing a meeting culture, and communicating with each other, you can see the different ways that work gets done. With advice on how people can work in new ways and training materials to help them learn, you can empower everyone to do their best work.

The Technology experience provides insights by assessing policies, device settings, and hardware and application performance within the organizational environment and recommends actions taken in Microsoft Endpoint Manager. Users receive the most up-to-date features, persistent security, devices with faster boot times, and increased battery life. You can improve their scores by identifying best practices and ideal configurations to ensure Technology and Employee experiences are mutually supported.

To learn more about Productivity Score and when the private preview will be available, check out this Tech Community post.

Simplifying meeting room management: Managed Meeting Rooms

Productive meetings are essential to success in the modern workplace. Coupled with the rise in remote collaboration, business leaders increasingly associate more effective meetings with having the right meeting room technology and environment. Today, we’re announcing a private preview of Managed Meeting Rooms from Microsoft, a new offer for managing meeting rooms as a service. This service is a cloud-based IT management and security monitoring service that ensures that Teams meeting rooms are secured, up to date, and proactively monitored for a great in-room experience. To date, we’ve been working with more than 100 customers to manage more than 1,500 meeting rooms. The private preview will open this experience to more of you!

Desktop App Assure now brings Microsoft’s compatibility promise to the new Microsoft Edge and Windows Virtual Desktop

The Desktop App Assure program—which helps you to remediate your applications should you encounter any compatibility issues as you move to Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus—has helped countless customers unblock 52.4 million devices and prevented 31.6 million help desk calls. Because Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus were designed for compatibility, we’ve continued to see a very low percentage of compatibility issues—less than 0.19 percent of apps have had an issue. To put that number into a bit of perspective, for every 1,000 apps that run on Windows 7, we see just two that have compatibility issues with Windows 10. And when we’ve encountered an issue with Windows or Office, we’ve fixed our products so that it removes that blocker for everyone. Addressing these compatibility issues has prevented 31.6 million users from ever running into a potential issue with the apps they rely on every day. We estimate that has helped to save you more than U.S. $5.5 billion in help desk costs because we fixed an issue before it ever impacted your end users.

With that success in mind, we’re extending Desktop App Assure—and renaming it App Assure—to the new Microsoft Edge and Windows Virtual Desktop. So, you can now use App Assure to help you remediate any compatibility issues you might encounter as you move your apps to Windows Virtual Desktop. Support for the new Microsoft Edge will be available when Edge is generally available. If you have an app that runs with Chrome or Internet Explorer and you experience an issue with the new Microsoft Edge—call us and we’ll fix it. Learn more or submit a request on our FastTrack site.

Virtualized experiences: Windows Virtual Desktop extends to Linux

Windows Virtual Desktop is the only service that delivers simplified management, a multi-session Windows 10 experience, optimizations for Office 365 ProPlus, and support for Windows Server Remote Desktop Services (RDS) desktops and apps. By adding MSIX app attach, the user experience for Windows Virtual Desktop increasingly gets better and easier for IT pros to manage. With it, you can mount an application or user profile dynamically to reduce storage and improve the user experience.

IT pros are now able to provide the full Windows Virtual Desktop experience on Linux devices, adding to broad support across platforms that include Windows, iOS, MacOS and HTML5. Support for Linux devices is available now through IGEL, a key hardware partner, and we’ll soon extend this support model through a software development kit (SDK) so that a broader set of partners can innovate at the device layer. We’re also working on enabling a new paradigm of app delivery through MSIX app attach. You can go to the Windows Virtual Desktop page for more information.

Security and productivity enhancements in the Microsoft 365 admin center and new management capabilities for Office 365 Groups

We’re thrilled to announce several security and productivity enhancements for the Microsoft 365 admin center and Office 365 Groups.

To begin with, support for the Global reader role in the Microsoft 365 admin center—a top request from customers—is generally available and rolling out to Microsoft 365 tenants right now. By using the Global reader role, you can improve your security posture by reducing the number of Global admins in your organization. Global readers can view all settings and administrative information across Microsoft 365, but they can’t make any changes. Global reader is especially useful for planning, audit, and investigation activities, and it can be used in combination with other roles, such as Exchange admin, to make it easier to get work done without requiring Global admin permissions.

We’re rolling out new AI-powered recommendations in the Microsoft 365 admin center that help you identify potential areas of concern and quickly act to address them through guided experiences. Recommendations are based on admin activities and your organization’s current configuration settings, and they cover Microsoft Information Protection, Advanced Threat Protection, self-service password reset, and GDPR compliant data retention. Read about these updates and other improvements in Security, Productivity, and Network Enhancements for Microsoft 365 Administrators.

Finally, we’ve been working hard to enhance Office 365 Groups, which facilitates collaboration across more than 20 Microsoft 365 services. We added several highly requested customer features to the Groups service to make group management more efficient and secure, including support for naming policies, expiry and auto-renewal based on activity, the ability to browse and restore deleted groups and rename group SharePoint site URLs, and the addition of the Groups admin role. We also added new features for Groups clients such as Outlook, Teams, Yammer, and Planner. For more information, see What’s New and What’s Next for Groups.

The future of modern management

I’m really excited about all of today’s announcements. Microsoft Endpoint Manager is a big step forward as we clarify our vision for the future of modern management. Co-management is a destination, and you can get started today by connecting ConfigMgr and Intune, especially now that all ConfigMgr customers have access to Intune for Windows co-management.

Other things you can do today include using App Assure to address any app compatibility concerns you have with moving to Microsoft Edge and Windows Virtual Desktop.

We’re excited to hear what you think, so please let us know on LinkedIn or Twitter.