Posted by: kurtsh | August 24, 2018

TRAINING: Microsoft Tech Academy

imageKick-start your cloud expertise with free, multimedia training for IT Professionals

Tech Academy unifies Microsoft’s learning and readiness platforms for IT Professionals and Developers into a single place. Use our curated Learning Pathways to kick-start or advance your Microsoft cloud expertise with always-up-to-date content or search across thousands of learning materials.  

Tech Academy delivers content from 26 different training resources from Microsoft, including:

imageIf you’re a Microsoft Edge user and you’ve ever seen the “Did you mean to switch apps?” dialog box to the right while joining a Microsoft Teams meeting, you know that clicking “YES” for every single Teams meeting you want to join gets a little tedious.

This is how to disable the “Did you mean to switch apps?” dialog box for any future Microsoft Teams meetings that you want to join:

  1. Open Internet Explorer (Click START and type “Internet Explorer” and hit ENTER)
  2. Copy the Teams URL from one of your Teams meeting into the Address field of Internet Explorer and hit ENTER. You can copy this URL from an appointment will look something like the URL below. A dialog box will appear.

  3. Uncheck the box labeled, “Always ask before opening this type of address”.
  4. Click the “Allow” button.

That’s it.  From now on, all Teams meeting links that you click will bypass the “Did you mean to switch apps?” dialog box and take you straight into the Teams application for your meeting.


(Hat tip to TechSpeeder to for the original general guidance for this solution)

Posted by: kurtsh | August 24, 2018

RELEASE: Azure Stack for Azure Government

imageMicrosoft Azure Stack is now available to order for Azure Government customers.

It was just a few months ago we shared our plans to integrate Azure Stack with our government-only cloud offering so agencies can benefit from a truly consistent hybrid cloud approach across identity, subscription, registration, billing, backup and disaster recovery solutions, and the Azure Marketplace.

Read more at the Azure Government blog:

imageLooking for a summary of all the security & compliance features & administrative capabilities within Microsoft Teams?

Check this documentation library out:

Posted by: kurtsh | August 15, 2018

DOWNLOAD: Azure Active Directory deployment plans

Azure AD Customers should check out these detailed Azure Active Directory deployment plans to help you quickly deploy 9 frequently used AAD capabilities.

These include:

  • Single Sign-on
  • User provisioning
  • Multi-factor Authentication
  • Conditional Access
  • ADFS to Pass Through Authenticaiton
  • ADFS to Password Hash Sync
  • Seamless SSO
  • Self-service Password Reset
  • Azure AD Application Proxy

Get the plans here:

imageDo you have a Windows Mixed Reality headset?  Is your computer domain-joined or tied to a Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) patch server, instead of using Windows Update? Does this error message look familiar to you?

"Before we can setup Windows Mixed Reality, your administrator will need to enable it for your organization"

Here’s the steps I put together to get Windows Mixed Reality working past the aforementioned error message: (I used the Samsung HMD Odyssey" on my 15” Surface Book 2 w/ 16GB)

  1. I downloaded the 1.4GB package for Windows 10 1803 located at
    …to a TEMP directory.
  2. I opened up a CMD window as Administrator by right mouse clicking CMD from the START button and selected "Run as Administrator".
  3. I ran the following command:

    dism /online /add-package /packagepath:c:\temp\

  4. The package add took a several minutes. It ended with "The operation completed successfully".
  5. I verified that "Windows Mixed Reality" got added to SETTINGS – Apps – Managed Optional Features
  6. I rebooted with the headset still attached. Upon logging in, Windows Mixed Reality setup kicked in again – but this time after going through controller set up and boundary setup, the Mixed Reality Portal appeared.
  7. I verified that SETTINGS –> Mixed Reality now appears.

For those of you looking for more than what the Windows Mixed Reality store provides in terms of a VR software catalog, here’s instructions on how to get Windows Mixed Reality headsets working with Valve’s Steam catalog of software & SteamVR. (tl;dr: You have to install 3 things – one of which is a bridging technology called "Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR" that has to be downloaded, in addition to Steam & SteamVR)

imageAnyone that’s been working with Microsoft technology & agreements for a while knows that Volume Licensing agreements that have “license maintenance” or “Software Assurance” (Microsoft’s terminology) also have certain value-added benefits.

These benefits are called “Software Assurance Benefits” (SAB) and come with consulting services credit, training vouchers for use with CTECs, eLearning subscriptions,etc.  One of these beneftis is “24×7 Problem Resolution Support incidents”, which provide the user with the ability to call in for technical support on an issue.  These are valuable and are worth upwards of $500 per incident.

If you have nothing else, SAB PRS incidents call into Microsoft Professional Support and open Professional Support incidents which can be a godsend – however Professional Support isn’t the highest level of support one can get. 

If you have a Premier Support Agreement with Microsoft however, this is the highest tier of support and your experience will always be better calling in to Premier than using Professional Support.  The technical level of support personnel is higher in Premier, responses are faster through Premier, etc.

If you have a Premier agreement, you are generally better off converting/transferring your SAB PRS credit INTO your Premier agreement which your Premier representative can assist you with.

You will first need to be an authorized 24×7 PRS benefit user which is assigned by the Software Assurance Benefits administrator.

Once you’re authorized, you need the SA Access ID which is stored in the Volume License Service Center (VLSC) portal at  VLSC administrator or SAB administrator are the only ones that can obtain this ID.

Once you have the SA Access ID and are provided permissions to use the PRS benefit, getting support can be accomplished in a few ways.  The easiest is to initiate a support ticket by going to:

Alternatively, you may be able to get through over the phone by dialing:

  • 800-936-5700 or
  • 800-642-7676

In both cases you will ultimately provide the SA Access ID to open the ticket.


The Open Source Virtual Conference is a one day online conference featuring technical learning sessions to help you lead innovation at your organization leveraging open source technology.

Join us in the morning for a keynote featuring John Gossman and Gabe Monroy providing insights into how Microsoft has embraced Open Source both with its own technology and our commitment to the Open Source Community.

Following the keynote, we will be focused on ensuring you are set up on Azure for the remainder of the day to be able to follow along with demos throughout the 14 sessions available.

Speakers from across the community and the Microsoft ecosystem are bringing three tracks with 14 sessions for you to choose from:

  • OSS for Developers
  • OSS for IT Professionals
  • OSS for Data Developers

During breaks connect with Microsoft Partners in the Lounge to learn more about how to accelerate Open Source projects within your own organization!

Conference Schedule:

  • 9:30 AM
    Visit Partner Expo
  • 10:00 AM
    Keynote: How Microsoft has embraced Open Source both with its own technology and our commitment to the Open Source Community, including live Q&A.
  • 11:00 AM
    General Session: A Trip Around the Azure Portal and Cloud Shell
  • 12:00 PM
    Break: Visit Partner Expo
  • 12:30 PM
      • MongoDB Atlas on Azure
      • Deploying Linux to Azure
      • Go Kubeless on Azure
  • 1:30 PM
      • Analytics with Azure Databricks
      • Build Your Containerization Strategy with Red Hat OpenShift in Azure
      • Introduction to App Service for Linux on Azure
  • 2:30 PM
      • Running Cloudera Data Analytic Workloads on Azure
      • Migrating and Securing Cloud Applications with HashiCorp Terraform and Vault on Azure
      • Azure Kubernetes Service Fu
  • 3:30 PM
      • Build Modern, Scalable and Intelligent Applications with Open Source Databases in Azure
      • Introduction to Open Service Broker for Azure
      • DevOps with Kubernetes and Helm
  • 4:30 PM
    Visit Partner Expo
  • John Gossman
    Lead Architect, Microsoft Azure
    John is a Lead Architect on Microsoft Azure, where he spearheads technical strategy and partnerships for Linux and open source technologies. He’s driven strategic technical relationships with companies such as Red Hat, Docker, Pivotal, Hashicorp, Canonical, Chef, Puppet, and others and serves on the Linux Foundation Board of Directors. John has worked in the software industry for over 25 years at startups and large companies, and worked on CAD systems, graphics, development tools, GUI frameworks, and cloud computing.
  • Gabe Monroy
    Lead Product Manager for Cloud Native Compute
    Gabe Monroy, is the Lead PM for Cloud Native Compute at Azure and represents Microsoft on the governing board of the Cloud Native Computing foundation.  Gabe was the founder and CTO of Deis, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2017.  As an early contributor to Docker and Kubernetes, Gabe has deep experience with containers in production and frequently advises organizations on PaaS, distributed systems, and cloud-native architectures.
Posted by: kurtsh | August 1, 2018

RELEASE: Jira Bot for Microsoft Teams

Jira & Microsoft Teams users rejoice!

We are proud to imageannounce the launch of the third party app Jira Cloud Bot integration for Microsoft Teams. Jira is built for every member of your software team to plan, track, and release great software.

Jira Cloud bot enables team members to easily find issues, assign them to team members, make edits, log time against an issue, watch/unwatch and vote/unvote on the issue.

Read more about the new bot and see a demo here:

Interested in taking a look at any of these through a nicely formatted interactive screens?

    • imageAzure products 
      A growing directory of integrated Azure services, features, and bundled suites

    • Cloud design patterns 
      Common problems and patterns offering prescriptive architecture guidance for cloud applications

      Check the home page for all the Azure Interactive Maps:

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