How do you get smarter in MDM & Group Policy?

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With Jeremy Moskowitz

To consult about an on-site (Private) Group Policy class or the Group Policy Health Check, please call Laura Rubinstein at 215-391-0096 or email laura[[att]]

To purchase seats in a LIVE or ONLINE training class, contact Laura Rubinstein at 215-391-0096 or email laura[[att]]

Get serious, and perform “Best Practices” around Group Policy management. Take back control and get your IT life back!

Dates Class Actions
11 / 20 / 2019 Chicago2019 Learn More

How do you get smarter in MDM & Group Policy?

Jul 2019

Two (not Jeremy) blog posts about Windows Update for Business' Rings

Windows Update for Business is the method where you can use Group Policy, SCCM or Intune to describe "rings" for your business. In these rings, you express "who is going to go first" to get updates.

Then, who will go next, and so on.

I explain these rings in details in my new MDM book.

But I wanted to share two Microsoft blog entries on this important topic, since it comes up from time to time. These are good extra sources of information.


Hope these help you out!

Jun 2019

Interesting Microsoft Internal IT talk about their transition to Modern Management

I found this 200% by accident.. It's pretty interesting.. about Microsoft's own transition to Microsoft Management. What's going well, what isn't, and so on.

Someone dares to ask the question of "When will Microsoft completely walk away from traditional management?" The answer ... is toward the end ... 

Spoiler alert: It's gonna be a while. 

Still interesting, and they're putting one foot in front of the other.


Jun 2019

A Short Tour of the Intune Customer Adoption Pack

Intune has come a long way since its inception and now offers a lot of great features to manage your organization’s mobile and Windows 10 devices.  The MDM approach to device management is a real change from years ago in which computing devices were either managed through the traditional AD joined domain model or were simply allowed to operate independently at the discretion of the user. 

Intune continues to introduce cloud based services that streamline and secure your devices, but users are often slow to accept changes into their environment.  In order to better educate users about the importance and need for device management and mobile security, Microsoft just recently updated the Intune Customer Adaption Pack in order to make the change in approach more palatable and decrease the transition time of Intune enrollment.  The adaption pack is especially valuable to organizations that previously did not require mobile devices to be enrolled for work access.

What’s in the Intune Customer Adaption Pack

The Adaption Pack is essentially a comprehensive communication plan that sets out to accomplish three objectives:

  • Education users in how to enroll their particular devices in Intune
  • Reassure users about their privacy concerning what type of device data is shared with IT
  • Explains the safeguards in place to protect user privacy and company resources

The adaption kit is suited for IT admins, management and trainers to educate, prepare and guide their users for the enrollment process.

You can download the Intune Adaption Pack here.

IT admins, management, and trainers

The link downloads a zip file that includes a variety of documents, videos, posters and templates that can be leveraged to spread Intune adaption throughout your organization.   The enclosed contents are shown in the screenshot below.

The Welcome document outlines what is in the adaption kit.  The kit includes two email templates that can be used to communicate with your users about the coming transition to Intune.  You can use them as written or customize them according to your needs.  An example of email #1 is shown below.

As part of the , all employees worldwide will soon transition to Microsoft Intune, a unified mobile device management platform. Intune enables you to work productively and securely from anywhere, at any time and across all of your devices. All other mobile device management platforms used worldwide to secure documents, devices, and corporate data will be retired.

The email goes on to explain some of the benefits and expectations of Intune as well as a schedule of the coming steps that they will be asked to complete at the appropriate time.  This opening email also provides an opportunity to showcase any other new services whose access will be granted on devices managed by Intune.  These required actions are then outlined in the second email template that also reinforces the benefits and strategic reasons for the migration and provides users a timeline for the outlined process. 

The Intune Deployment Guide provides a wealth of information for your users that is compressed into two palatable pages that they can quickly read and apprehend.  The guide also includes a Word version that allows you to customize and include your internal resources and contact information.  Some of the topics outlined include:

  • What information about their personal devices can and cannot be seen by IT?  This includes a link to the Intune privacy policy. 
  • How internal IT will use the company portal or app store to install work apps
  • What users can do if their mobile device is lost or stolen
  • Security steps IT can take to secure data residing on enrolled devices
  • Intune enrollment links for each applicable operating system

An example of the guide is shown below.


Training Videos

If you’ve had concerns about how to train your users to complete the enrollment process, the enclosed videos in the Adaption Pack will be a welcome tool.  The videos are step-by-step YouTube videos that show users how to easily enroll their devices in Intune.  Below is a screenshot of the Windows 10 video.

Two videos demonstrate how to either enroll an Android device for full management or enroll for Work Profile management.  An example of the Android device management is shown below.

The videos not only provide step-by-step directions on how to complete the enrollment process, but also summarizes again what information Intune has access to when it comes to user devices.  An example of this is shown in the MacOS video.  Note that there is also a separate video concerning iOS devices as well.

A Great Tool to Assure a Smooth Transition

The Intune Customer Adaption Kit gives you out-of-the-box training tools to educate your users about why Intune enrollment is so important.  It can help ensure that all targeted devices are enrolled quickly without the constant prodding of your users asking “what to do.”  By effectively communicating the necessary messages and information to your users, you will be able to begin enforcing compliance through conditional policies for all of your targeted devices.

Jun 2019

Interesting Rando-News

Interesting Rando-News 

First, I know in my last email I said writing my book took "none" months. I meant nine. Nine months.
These newsletters don't have an editor, or even a good spellchecker. So they're a bit off the cuff.
My book has eyeballs and eyeballs of real pros looking at it. Even THEN there will be errors, but, hey.. they're nicely shellacked !

Next, here's a bunch of items I've been sitting on for a bit. 

Item 1: Windows 1903
I know you already know that Windows 1903 is out. Buuut.. it seems a little mysterious how to GET it and what's IN IT. Well, here's a blog which explains both. Be sure to click on "What's new for IT Pros in Windows 10, 1903" for all the best stuff. 

Item 2: 1903 Baselines are out
So Baselines are preconfigured advice which can be delivered via Group Policy or an MDM service like  Intune. (And, YES, of course with ALL CAPS I cover this in my "Group Policy (with a side of MDM)" training class, AND also in Chapter 10 of my new MDM/Intune/Autopilot/Azure book !)

Those baselines are here:

And, here's the official blog entry on it:

But, it's Item #3, that's related to Item #2 that's the big interesting thing.

Item #3: Microsoft no longer recommends password rotation for regular users. 
Yep, so inside the Baselines, Microsoft has taken a step back from requiring that users rotate their passwords. At first glance you might think "Wow, that really sounds like it LOWERS my security posture." But then, the real reason why this can be a good idea is found when you dig into Aaron Margosis' blog: "If an organization has successfully implemented banned-password lists, multi-factor authentication, detection of password-guessing attacks, and detection of anomalous logon attempts, do they need any periodic password expiration? And if they haven’t implemented modern mitigations, how much protection will they really gain from password expiration?"

There you go. So, if you're already implementing password rotation.. I guess "keep doing it" if you haven’t implemented the other mentioned security functions; but STOP if you HAVE implemented these other security measures. I found a few other's takes on this advice:

Item #4: Windows 1903 and Blurred Backgrounds
What do you think of those Blurred Backgrounds in Windows 1903 at login time? Don't like them?
Computer | Admin Templates | System | Logon | Show Clear logon background and set it to ENABLED.

Ah.. but what if you don't have the Windows 1903 ADMX files? 

Item #5: No Windows 1903 ADMX files yet.
They're not available yet for download. So you can always take a Windows 10 1903 machine and use the ADMX and ADML items from there if you're in a hurry. But I advise to wait for the download. I’ll let you know when that occurs.

Item #6: Super cool Windows 10 thing to broadcast your screen "over there." 
This is one of those things I'm wondering if everyone on the planet knew, except maybe.. Me. 
Basically, you can "project your whole screen" to an app .. "over there" on another Windows 10 machine. I tested this and it's so freeking cool. Just. So. Cool. My. Head. Exploded.  
Tip: Both computers have to be on the same Wifi or Bluetooth network.

And now.. time for the plugs... :-)

- My CLASS (next Group Policy+ MDM class Chicago Sep 16 - 18th [three days].. Sign up today at
- Nor did I plug my new MDM: Intune, Autopilot and Azure book which is coming out in July (

No time like the present. Sign up for class and/or get your book. :-)

Happy Friday everyone !