Microsoft’s TechEd Keynote

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The keynote was streamed live today, It was loooong but it held some great information for SMB IT Pros. Here’s a few notes that I took. You’ll probably want to listen to it for yourself to pick up the details. You’ll find it on Channel 9.

Windows 8.1

  • Use powershell to export the start screen layout. Set a group policy to push that layout to others. This will really make it simple to create a standard environment for everyone to start with.
  • Allow near field communications for pairing to printers and other devices. Not just for charging anymore and IT can create the tags too.
  • Open apps side by side. A little refinement from the 1/3 screen and snap.
  • Tethering to other computer systems with one click. Working in a group, only expose 1 PC to unsecure wireless
  • More variety of sizes of tiles. Not a big deal to me but this makes it more consistent with Phone 8.


  • Already processing a million authentication requests in Azure AD every two minutes. Impressive!

Windows Server 2012 R2, Intune new release (R2), System Center 2012 R2 and bits are available

  • Server 2012 R2 – workplace join personal owned computers. Doesn’t join domain,
    but makes the domain aware of the device. Company now knows that an employee
    has brought in a device and what the device is. Includes Phone Factor
    two-factor authentication. Optionally device can join Intune directly from
    Workplace in Windows 8.1.
  • Intune push out anti-malware, vpn settings, wireless certificates, applications,
    remote wipe, work folders, updating. All data is stored encrypted on the device.
  • Azure – Starting today, when you stop a VM you don’t get charged for it. This is going to make labs more effective. Also move to per minute billing model. MSDN 30-90% discounts for test VM’s. Use MSDN Server licenses at no charge. MSDN adds Azure credits from $50-150 per month depending on level. Portal now contains MSDN monitoring of your credits. Enroll your MSDN subscription and get entered into a chance to win an Aston-Martin.

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