Posted by: kurtsh | January 20, 2022

INFO: 25 Windows Policies you shouldn’t set

Ever heard of policy bloat?  Yeah, I know.  We don’t have time to worry about that… but as with all policies, in Windows there are policy settings that no longer work or have been phased out for other policies. We’ve documented 25 that you should review.

imageWe have listened to your feedback and learned a lot about which experiences work and which don’t. We have also worked to evolve and simplify the controls needed to support these improved experiences, and identify which older policies have become irrelevant or replaced with a better option. As a result, the Windows update policy set contains policies that no longer have any impact; that don’t work as described on devices running Windows 10, version 20H2 or later; or that work but not as well as the policies that were added to accomplish a similar experience in a much better way.

Read about them here:

Posted by: kurtsh | January 20, 2022

RELEASE: Cloud Adoption Strategy Evaluator

imageStruggling to align executes & solidify your cloud adoption strategy? Check out the new Cloud Adoption Strategy Evaluator on the assessment platform.

This new assessment will help find gaps in your strategy & provide relevant guidance to help your stakeholders align & commit to the changes you’re trying to drive.

Check it out here:

Posted by: kurtsh | January 16, 2022

INFO: Microsoft Privacy Statement

imageFor those looking for details around Microsoft’s commitment to privacy:

Your privacy is important to us. This privacy statement explains the personal data Microsoft processes, how Microsoft processes it, and for what purposes.

Microsoft offers a wide range of products, including server products used to help operate enterprises worldwide, devices you use in your home, software that students use at school, and services developers use to create and host what’s next. References to Microsoft products in this statement include Microsoft services, websites, apps, software, servers, and devices.

Please read the product-specific details in this privacy statement, which provide additional relevant information. This statement applies to the interactions Microsoft has with you and the Microsoft products listed below, as well as other Microsoft products that display this statement.

Young people may prefer starting with the Privacy for young people page. That page highlights information that may be helpful for young people.

  • Personal data we collect
  • How we use personal data
  • Reasons we share personal data
  • How to access and control your personal data
  • Cookies and similar technologies
  • Products provided by your organization—notice to end users
  • Microsoft account
  • Collection of data from children
  • Other important privacy information

Product-specific details:

  • Enterprise and developer products
  • Productivity and communications products
  • Search, Microsoft Edge, and artificial intelligence
  • Entertainment and related services

Contact us:
If you have a privacy concern, complaint, or question for the Microsoft Chief Privacy Officer or EU Data Protection Officer, please contact us by using our web form. For more information about contacting Microsoft, including Microsoft Ireland Operations Limited, see the
How to contact us section of this privacy statement.

For our privacy information, visit:

imageOver a 100+ different instructor-led trainings for “modern worker” scenarios (read: Microsoft 365, Windows, Teams, Edge, Power Platform, Security, etc.) are now available from the Microsoft store trainers for everyone to sign up for at their leisure – at no cost to you.

These are scheduled courses that folks can join over Microsoft Teams.  Here are a few with multiple dates available:

For the full catalog, visit:

We have some big news for Microsoft Defender for Servers!  Yuri Diogenes, Microsoft’s Principal Program Manager for Cybersecurity talks with Aviv Mor about what new announcements were made including:

imageIn this episode of Defender for Cloud in the field, Aviv Mor joins Yuri Diogenes to talk about Microsoft Defender for Servers updates, including the new integration with TVM. Aviv explains how this new integration with TVM works, the advantages of this integration, which includes software inventory and easy experience to onboard. Aviv also covers the integration with MDE for Linux and the Defender for Servers support for the new multi-cloud connector for AWS.

  • 1:22 – Overview of the announcements for Microsoft Defender for Servers
  • 5:50 – Migration path from Qualys VA to TVM
  • 7:12 – TVM capabilities in Defender for Servers
  • 8:38 – Threat detections for Defender for Servers
  • 9:52 – Defender for Servers in AWS
  • 12:23 – Onboard process for TVM in an on-premises scenario
  • 13:20 – Demonstration

View the 22min video here:

imageWouldn’t it be cool to be able to take an app and make it stay in-front or “on-top” of everything else on your desktop? 

This is usually a list that you need to refer to or a time tracking app, or an IM tool.

Microsoft’s “Always On-Top” function does exactly this.  It’s a new feature of the Microsoft PowerToys – a free suite of a dozen or so useful tools for Windows 10/11 that extend the Windows OS in a variety of useful ways.

If you’re interested in installing it, it’s downloadable below:


imageGentle reminder:  If you buy an Xbox Series S/X for Christmas or the holidays, be sure to get a Microsoft Complete plan for it.

This is a 3 year extended warranty on the console for any problem you might have on it & normally costs $49 – however I think we’re only charging $39 in December 2021.  This supercedes the 1 year limited warranty that your Xbox Series S/X has at purchase.

  • Your new Xbox Series S/X has a “limited 1 year warranty” that will protect it from design flaws and non-user initiated failures. This warranty does NOT protect the Xbox from accidents – like “drops” or “power surges”, “spills”, etc.
  • Microsoft Complete for Xbox” plans provide 3 years of coverage that covers most issues including user accidents – including a broken Xbox controller! Exact details available here:

Microsoft Complete for Xbox: For mechanical breakdowns and/or accidental damage claims, maximum of:

  • one (1) Xbox console replacement
  • two (2) Xbox One standard controller replacements OR
    one (1) Xbox Elite Controller replacement (whichever is applicable to your purchase)
  • one (1) associated power supply unit with attaching cords replacement, when such are originally supplied by Microsoft within a single, all-in-one packaged purchase.

Admittedly, this process used to be really easy to do through the Microsoft Store in Windows 10/11 or online through your Microsoft Account web site… but now it’s kind of a pain.  Here’s the steps on how to do this:


    You must complete this within 45 days of purchasing your Xbox Series S/X.  How they know when you’ve bought the console I don’t know but you DEFINITELY can’t have your Xbox Series S/X hooked up and used for longer than 45 days or they won’t allow you to buy Microsoft Complete.
    You will need the serial number of your XBox either from the console itself or from the box it was purchased in.  I take a photo using my phone.


    Sign into
    Click on the “Devices” pane & click “View All Devices” or
    go to 

    Click on “Register device” & enter the serial number of your Xbox.  Remember to do this only when you’re ready to hook up your Xbox & want to start your Microsoft Complete.
    (Note: Once submitted, this may take as much as 5 minutes to register)

    In the US, call (877)696-7786 and state that you’d like to purchase “Microsoft Complete for your Xbox Series S/X”.  They will charge your $49 for the warranty & ask for your:
      1. Microsoft Account identity (, for example)
      2. The Serial Number of the newly registered Xbox
    You should receive a 12-digit “Complete Service Request Number” from the sales agent.
    Go back to the Registered Devices page for your Microsoft Account and you should see an “In warranty” date that is roughly 3 years from your date of registration.

You will need to have a credit card registered on the Microsoft Account that is used for your Xbox Live account.  If you don’t, you may be able to provide a credit card number on the phone but I don’t know that for certain.

If you want to auto-start an applications in Windows 11 – regardless of whether it’s a UWP or a Win32 app – do the following:

Open File Explorer (any file folder window) and copy the following into the address bar to go to the “apps” folder:


These are the apps that are installed on your Windows 11 computer. Keep this window open.

Next, open another instance of File Explorer (again, any other file folder window) and  following folder:


These are the applications that are set to “automatically start” upon login.  There may or may not be anything here.

Finally, using your right mouse button, drag the icon for the app you want FROM THE APPS FOLDER window to the STARTUP FOLDER window and “create shortcut”.

That’s it.  Next time you login, it’ll run this UWP or Win32 app you’ve shortcutted to.

Posted by: kurtsh | November 8, 2021

INFO: Microsoft Security Product Name Changes

MicrosoftSecurityProductNameChangesHere’s a quick cheat sheet of Microsoft’s security product name changes.

  • Microsoft 365 Defender
    (Previous: Microsoft Threat Protection)
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint
    (Previous: Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection)
    (Previous: Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection)
  • Microsoft Defender for Office
    (Previous: Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection)
  • Microsoft Defender for Identity
    (Previous: Azure Advanced Threat Protection)
  • Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps
    (Previous: Microsoft Cloud App Security)
  • Microsoft Defender for Cloud
    (Previous: Azure Security Center & Azure Defender)
  • Microsoft Defender for IoT
    (Previous: Azure Defender for IoT)
  • Microsoft Sentinel
    (Previous: Azure Sentinel)

imageWe are announcing that Microsoft has been named a Leader in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Integration Tools.

We believe this recognition reflects our continued commitment to delivering comprehensive and cost-effective data integration solutions, including both code-first and low- or no-code tooling for on-premises, hybrid, and cloud workloads.

Read more at the announcement blog here:

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