Posted by: kurtsh | September 17, 2020

VIDEO: “PowerToys” – Utilities to customize Windows 10

imageLearn about Microsoft PowerToys, a set of utilities for power users to tune and streamline your Windows 10 experience for greater productivity.

Clint Rutkas will show you the current PowerToy utilities, including:

  • ColorPicker (click anywhere to grab a color value)
  • FancyZones (shortcuts to position windows into a grid layout)
  • File Explorer Add-ons (preview SVGs or Markdown files)
  • Image Resizer (resize one or many images with a simple right-click)
  • Keyboard Manager (remap keys or create your own shortcuts)
  • PowerRename (bulk rename using search and replace)
  • PowerToys Run (Alt + Space to launch apps)
  • Shortcut Guide, and more to come.

Watch the 17min overview video here:

Posted by: kurtsh | September 17, 2020

DOWNLOAD: Digital swag for Microsoft Ignite 2020

Buried in the Microsoft Ignite 2020 FAQ, is a little blurb about digital swag and if you’re not careful, you might miss it!

Or you can just grab it here.

imageBelow you can download each swag item or the full digital swag package.

Buzzword Bingo: Listen for buzzwords and share your progress on social

Desktop wallpapers: Show off your desktop with branded wallpapers

Digital badge: Let everyone know you participated by printing your all access badge

Social backgrounds (LinkedIn, twitter): Background images to use on all your social platforms

LinkedIn backgrounds

Twitter backgrounds

Social stickers

Microsoft Teams backgrounds: Become a presenter in your next meeting with branded backgrounds

Full digital swag package (183MB)


imageDo you want to help shape the future of Microsoft products?

Now is your chance. Learn more about “Expert Connections” after Microsoft Ignite.

Take the lead and join Microsoft engineering teams and your peers in meaningful conversations about the tools you use everyday. Share insights, discover new perspectives and problem-solve in a collaborative environment to shape the future of Microsoft products.

Choose from over 200 topics ranging from 30 to 60 minutes in length. Activities will occur after the Microsoft Ignite conference.

  • Browse Topics
    Microsoft 365, Azure, Power Platform, Security and Dynamics: Discover the topics we’re covering. You’ll have access to topics that match your experience and interest when you sign up.
  • Stay Connected
    Enroll in one of our Microsoft customer panels to learn about future opportunities to engage with Microsoft product team experts, see new product concepts, and give your input.
  • Community Events
    Events for the community, by the community. Explore opportunities to learn and connect related to training, certification, and Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) events.

If you are selected, you will be notified via email of what group(s) you’ll be joining to provide feedback on.

imageThe survey you are required to take is rather long depending on how many topics you’re interested in so be prepared to click through preferences & technology interest for 15 min or so.

You will start out with 5 Microsoft solutions areas that you can express interest in during the sign up – each have dozens of subgroups & subgroups within those subgroups:

  • Azure (Compute, Cognitive Services, Data, etc.)
  • Dynamics 365
  • Microsoft 365
  • Power Platform
  • Security, Compliance, & Identity

…and there are many areas of interest beneath these that will help determine what groups you can provide feedback to.

Sign-up today:



imageIf you’re interested in understanding some of the roles we’re specifically looking for feedback from an on-going basis, check out the Expert Connections Panels page.

For example:  If you’re any of the following, you can sign up directly:

  • Microsoft 365 IT Administrator
  • Device Management Administrator
  • Security Professional
  • Compliance Professional
  • Cloud Designer
  • AI for the Power Platform
  • Developer
  • etc.
  • Expert Connections Panels – Enrollment:

I wanted to bring an announcement/offer Yubico made with Microsoft last week to your attention:

clip_image002Build your Passwordless offering with Microsoft Azure AD and YubiKeys – Limited Time Offer

Together with Microsoft, we are announcing a Go Passwordless Pilot Program where qualified Services Providers (e.g. systems integrators, consulting services) in Canada, EU, UK and US can nominate their customer to pilot the Azure Active Directory Passwordless flow. For a limited time, Yubico and Microsoft are offering 25 free YubiKeys to up-to 100 qualified customers to pilot the Microsoft Azure AD Passwordless flow and YubiEnterprise Delivery (YED) service.

“I believe this offering is a compelling program. It fits well with our respective missions to help everyone achieve more and make the internet safe for everyone.” – Sue Bohn, Partner Director of Program Management in the Identity Division at Microsoft.

To get started and check qualifications:

1. Services Provider will need to identify a customer (500+ Azure AD Users) that has the technical FIDO2 requirements to go passwordless

2. Enroll your organization into the program. If you have an Azure AD + Yubico Passwordless practice – share the link with us when you sign up!

3. Then, nominate the customer for the pilot

4. If you and your customer are selected for the pilot, we will contact you for shipping details

Pilots requirements: Windows 10 version 1903 or later, Azure Active Directory and Yubico’s YubiKey 5 series, Microsoft Azure AD MFA enabled users, and integrate Azure AD with Microsoft and 3rd party applications; such as Office 365, Salesforce, and ServiceNow.

For more information, read the announcement here:

So you’re gonna expand your Azure Sentinel log data retention?

If you need to keep your logs for compliance reasons for a longer priod

imageOut of the box, Azure Sentinel provides 90 days of data retention for free. In some parts of the world and within certain industries, there are regulations that organizations must adhere to which require data retention up to 7 years or longer. The current challenge is that the max retention for Log Analytics workspaces is 2 years. There has been a need for a solution that will allow for more time and cost saving by moving logs to cold storage. This blog is going to detail how logs from a Log Analytics workspace can easily be moved into long-term cold storage in order to comply with retention standards as well as reduce costs using this Playbook.

imageWe, in GCC or GCC High, finally have a consistent way of tagging & creating, configuring, and applying policies to protect information worker data across all locations.

Workloads that can leverage unified labeling such as Azure Information Protection Unified Labeling client and scanner, Office 365 apps, Office for web, SharePoint, OneDrive, MCAS and many more can apply these policies in a consistent manner.

Only Azure Information Protection Unified Labeling client and Azure Information Protection Unified Labeling scanner is only supported for GCC and GCC-H environments at this time.

Read more here:

imageIf there is one constant in compliance, it’s that the rules always change. With evolving regulations, plus new ones being passed, how are businesses to keep up? Technology like AI or cloud-based solutions can make it easier to know the regulations and decide how to enforce them, but it’s up to fallible human employees whether they will comply, knowingly or unknowingly. Small mistakes or lapses in judgment can expose companies to major vulnerabilities.

By taking a smart approach to modern compliance with AI, you can effectively use technology to protect your company’s critical asset—its reputation.

If compliance decision-making is your responsibility, our new e-book can help you manage the risk. In The Modern Compliance Playbook: A Smart Approach to Artificial Intelligence, you’ll learn about:

  • The speed of regulation and what it means for today’s companies.
  • Implementing and communicating compliance in an ever-changing landscape.
  • Getting to know the explosion of data that’s now available to you.
  • The future of AI and compliance.

Download the e-book now.

Posted by: kurtsh | September 13, 2020

TRAINING: Azure Government Video Catalog

imageThere’s an incredible repository of videos available specifically for Azure Government if you’re interested in learning.

Most are 20-30min long and with over 60+ videos, there’s a tremendous amount to learn.  Topics include:

  • Overview of Open Source DevOps in Azure Government
  • Overview of VS Code Extensions for Azure Government
  • Overview of Azure Database for MySQL in Azure Government
  • QnA Maker in Azure Government
  • Azure Maps in Azure Government
  • Azure Stream Analytics in Azure Government
  • Cloud Shell in Azure Government
  • Azure DevOps in Azure Government
  • Secure Azure Computing Architecture in Azure Government
  • Azure Batch in Azure Government
  • Azure Data Lake Storaage Gen2 on Azure Government
  • Terraform on Azure Government
  • Cost Management on Azure Government
  • Azure blueprints and compliance on Azure Government

Check out the playlist here from the Azure Government Engineering team:

Posted by: kurtsh | September 11, 2020

BETA: Anti-malware for Azure Files (Preview)

imageGood news – if you have content stored in Azure Files, we now have a public preview of “Advanced Threat Protection for Azure Files”.  In English, that means there is first tier anti-malware solution available that you can enable “in the cloud” that will scan from suspicious files stored in Azure Files.

This new “Azure Files support” is technically the same engine that is used to currently protect Azure Storage in the same way so you’ll see the ATP service used interchangably between Azure Storage and Azure Files.

For more information on the public preview, visit the following:

We’ve made available a new add-on called “Advanced Communications” for Microsoft Teams users/owners that improves scale, manageability, and customization for organizations that require them.

An animated image of the Custom branded background.Advanced Communications provides enhanced calling and meeting capabilities that address a spectrum of communication needs, including the following:

  • Reach larger audiences: Help your users stay connected with live events for up to 20,000 participants and interactive meetings for 1,000 participants with the capability to enable up to 20,000 participants in a view-only meeting experience.
  • Tailor and customize meetings: Drive standardization across meetings for your internal and custom-facing scenarios, with features such as custom branded meeting lobby. Implement with flexibility across your organization’s departments.
  • Connect meetings and calling to workflows: Integrate workflows to your communication system. For example, have your compliance recording policy automated, and become part of the communication workflow, without the need for manual intervention.
  • Manage your organization communications: Monitor, track, and analyze data on users and devices to ensure a smooth experience.

Advanced Communications is available in all Microsoft 365 markets as an add-on to any paid Microsoft 365 or Office 365 subscription. Features included in Advanced Communications won’t be added to other Microsoft 365 or Office 365 plans and can’t be purchased separately. To get the features, you must purchase the add-on.

The Microsoft Teams “Advanced Communications” add-on isn’t yet available for Microsoft 365 Government Community Cloud (GCC), GCC High, or Department of Defense (DoD) environments. We’re planning on making it available later.

Pricing is $12 list and only meeting organizers need a license. Meeting attendees don’t need a license.

For more information read the following:

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