More useful apps for working from home

Just came across an article by Keith Shaw from Computerworld.com discussing all the video conferencing and screen sharing tools available to us during this time where almost all of Earth is working from home.

Some of them are well known while other lesser known ones may be worth giving a try…check out the article here and let me know which ones you’ve used or plan on using.

Free remote tools being offered amid Coronavirus

Just came across a useful post at Bleepingcomputer.com revealing how many companies are offering their remote support tools free for a limited time given how Coronavirus is gripping the world and is forcing the employees of many corporations and small businesses to have to work remotely.

Microsoft, Google, LogMeIn (my remote support tool), and Cisco are leading the way in offering their products.  Check out the full post here for more details and let me know if you plan on taking advantage of these resources!

The “new” Office App

For those mobile Office users, the news that Microsoft has developed an integrated app that saves space on your device in addition to providing the same or even more productivity has to be a welcomed development.

I’ve tested out the app for the past few days and must say that I’m impressed with its performance.  While it is a disappointment that it only includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (no integrated Outlook, OneNote, etc.) it is definitely a step in the right direction in that its performance is much improved in comparison to the traditional (and “clunky”) standalone mobile apps.

For more details about the new Office App, check out Gregg Keizer’s article on Computerworld.com here and let me know if you’ve taken the plunge and experimented with the app!

SCCM + Intune = Microsoft Endpoint Manager

One of the biggest announcement at Ignite 2019 is the merging of System Center Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune into the newly named Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

This follows Microsoft’s continued goal of simplifying branding for its service / management tool offerings.  Upon reviewing the 1911 Technical Preview (TP), you can see the changes within the updated console…

One of the better detailed summaries on this change can be found here in an article written by Kurt Mackie for Redmondmag.com … I guess now I have some motivation for installing the latest TP if I want to get hands on with the new product!

Time Machine Backups for Windows OSs

While doing some casual browsing about all things tech, I came across a post discussing a software package that can pretty much be looked at as “System Restore” on steroids.  Enter RollBack Rx…it has also been dubbed as the Time Machine Backup-like solution for Windows.

Check out the details here and I’ll be sure to test out the software for myself!

Google Drive vs. Microsoft OneDrive

We’ll I guess we might as well take it a step further with the “rise” of OneDrive by comparing it with the other main competitor in this space, Google Drive.

Ed Bott on ZDNet has the latest comparisons, primarily with a slant on what’s best for a business between these two heavyweights here for all to see!

What’s your pick…OneDrive, Google Drive, or both (in my case)?

The rise of OneDrive

When it comes to cloud storage, many options are available for consumer and business users.  Personally, I use Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive as my primary cloud storage options so I can appreciate the unbiased article written by Amy Babinchak for AskWoody.com detailing how OneDrive has come a long way in becoming a solid top tier choice for users.

Check out her review here and let me know if you think she is accurate in her assessment!

Windows 10 Apps: To keep or delete?

Just came across an article from Ed Bott at ZDNet who has a great run down on Windows 10 applications linked to the Microsoft Store and provides justification on what is useful and should be kept versus what’s useless and can be deleted.  Check it out here to see if it’s in line with the apps that you use or not on your own PC…

Helpful SQL Server Maintenance Script

So I noticed over the past month that System Center Configuration Manager is running a bit sluggish which immediately indicates to me that it’s time for some maintenance! (sigh)

For those who manage programs such as SCCM and SCOM which require modern versions of SQL Server, this custom script created by Ola Hallengrens is a must have!  Also, be sure to check his site periodically as he does a great job of updating this script along with others on a regular basis.  Paired with additional recommendations from Steve Thompson designed for these specific programs, I am pleased with its effectiveness in cleaning up these SQL databases.

 

SCEP for Mac is back?

On the security front, Microsoft has announced a few changes including enhancements and renaming of a key product.  Formerly known as “Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection”, it will now be referred to as “Microsoft Defender ATP”.

The main reason for this leads back to the title of this post; this new product will have the ability to support Mac clients along with Windows PCs.  As you may recall, the formerly known as “System Center Endpoint Protection” for Macs was decommissioned effective December 31, 2018 leaving users without a Microsoft supported antivirus solution.

In a perfect world for SCCM admins like myself, having an endpoint solution supporting Windows and macOS all while being managed from within the console would be ideal.  I know they are in the testing stages of the software but if they wanted to pay it smart, they should work hard towards achieving this.  Read more about it here.

Update 04/01/2019: Although I stated in the original post that SCEP for Mac has been decommissioned, you can still install the program (assuming you still have the download .dmg file) and receive the latest definitions but remember that Microsoft can halt this without warning at any time.