Microsoft combined the Windows 10 and Surface teams under Panos Panay. Expect greater innovations to Windows 10, headaches in IT, and feature exclusivity in Microsoft Endpoint Manager. The company’s decision to combine its Windows 10 team with its Surface team – under the leadership of Surface evangelist Panos Panay – sets the stage for increased integration between its operating systems and hardware offerings.
Panay, Chief Product Officer of Microsoft, now leads the consolidated Device + Windows team. Although he isn’t part of CEO Satya Nadella’s senior leadership team, his boss, EVP Rajesh Jha, sits at the big table. The move could reverse years of uncertainty over the future of Windows and where Nadella’s priorities lie. Nadella’s cloud-at-all-costs push has largely powered Microsoft’s resurgence, but Windows has paid the price, with the CEO openly admitting Windows is “no longer the most important layer.” Expect this re-org to result in a more sharply focused Windows roadmap as its architects move ever closer to the executive suite.
Microsoft has done an admirable job recovering from the debacle that was the Surface RT and has built the Surface brand into a US$4 billion business in just over seven years. From an IT perspective, however, it’s a story of missed opportunity. While the Surface successfully brought modest innovations to end-user computing devices, their potential was constrained because there wasn’t a well-established feedback loop with the operating system team. No longer.
With the Device + Windows team now calling the shots, IT administrators should expect to see new features in Windows 10 updates. They’ll have to deal with the headache of learning how to configure, secure, and/or block these features, as well as the headache of teaching users about them.
I expect that, at least initially, Microsoft Endpoint Manager will be the only tools capable of configuring any of these new features. Microsoft acted this way previously with Intune and the Office 365 mobile app suite, although it eventually opened up to other enterprise mobile management vendors.
Source: Microsoft Endpoint Manager at SoftwareReviews, Accessed February 14, 2020
Windows 10 needs a win. Many of its innovative features are flailing or being turned off – Microsoft brought in Alexa and had to shift its focus for Cortana, Edge was refactored onto Chromium, recent General Availability deployments were unstable, and the Universal Windows Platform is dead. If anyone can deliver, it’s Panos Panay.
A remote code execution vulnerability in ManageEngine Desktop Central, with a CVSS score of 9.8, was recently discovered by a third party. To address this gap, ManageEngine released an update on March 7, 2020 that addresses this. We strongly recommend that all ManageEngine Desktop Central administrators install this update as soon as possible, to minimize susceptibility to remote attacks.
Clearlake Capital is shaking up Ivanti’s leadership. Expect greater focus on efficiency and acquisitions beyond ITSM and IT operations.
Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) is leaving System Center and joining Intune under the Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM) portfolio. It’ll take years to stop writing SCCM, but co-management is an exciting feature.
VMware and Citrix are promoting their flagship digital workspaces to CIOs as a way to improve employee engagement. If you implement them without stakeholder involvement, or adequate resourcing, it will backfire.
Google gives enterprise IT departments different Chrome OS management approaches. Pilot each; don’t just use the most familiar one to you.
IBM is divesting BigFix, Domino, Notes, and other software lines to HCL. It’s not a reason to jump ship, but do a muster drill to be safe.
Cisco unveiled three AI features for its Unified Contact Center Enterprise and Unified Contact Center Express at Enterprise Connect 2019. These features should help, but don’t replace your agents with bots anytime soon.
Jamf has had a busy year improving and expanding its product. It’s convincing many organizations to avoid the siren song of unified endpoint management.
The new Microsoft Unified Support model is still in beta phase, aiming for a global rollout by the end of Microsoft’s fiscal year 2019. Its aim is moving towards providing support for organizations adding cloud products to their Microsoft volume licensing agreements but maintains support for historical on-premises and legacy products. Prices could rise for current customers by up to 30%.