30 Oct

New Surface hardware: A sneak peak into the new wave of Windows devices?

After the recent Microsoft hardware event, November 2019 Update news, and Ignite, this episode of Enterprise Dish is jam packed with Microsoft news. Watch this week’s video to hear SmartDeploy CEO, Aaron Suzuki, and host, Brad Sams give an in-depth analysis on the tech news and events. Then, continue reading for the brake down of the concepts discussed.

Surface Pro release highlights

During the October Microsoft hardware event, the Surface Laptop 3, Surface Pro 7, and the Surface Pro X were released. Although the designs are sleek and impressive, the release included new software and hardware changes that confused many Windows followers. Surprisingly, the Surface Pro X does not run on the new Windows operating system, Windows 10X. Microsoft also announced the Surface Pro X will be running on the latest incarnation of Windows for ARM, exclusively managed through Intune, not MDT or SCCM. Although we haven’t seen a widespread adoption of ARM, it has several benefits such as extended battery life, LTE connectivity, runs cooler, is lighter weight, and has USB charging capabilities. ARM has proven to be a successful processor for other industries and is used in a variety of Apple products. Including ARM in the Surface Pro X is Microsoft’s third attempt to get Microsoft for ARM off the ground.

But watch out, there’s a Surface Pro X footnote

In the Surface Pro X advertising, Microsoft states users can deploy and manage with ease by utilizing the remotely controlled firmware-level functionality with a custom Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). This is paired with Windows Autopilot, Surface Enterprise Management Mode (SEMM), and Microsoft Intune. However, in footnote 9, it states image-based deployment is not supported by MDT and SCCM and only uses Autopilot. The footnote, further urges customers who are relying on an image-based deployment system to consider the Surface Pro 7 while they continue their efforts to transition to the cloud. Certain classes of unsupportable devices pose new industry challenges to manage efficiently. It’s important to read these footnotes before choosing a machine to standardize on because it may not be compatible with other services within your organization. This narrowed processor management indicates Microsoft is exploring a new direction where devices are managed without Active Directory and image-based management. Listen in to hear Aaron’s take on what this could mean for the future of Microsoft products.

Surface Pro 7 processor inconsistencies

Other changes in the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro X models are the adjustments in the core security. Microsoft has partnered with outside companies to increase firmware protections. However, these security adjustments tee up unanswered secondary questions around what steps need to be taken in the event the core is compromised and how that can affect device performance. Another finicky release note is the Surface Pro 7 15-inch model will include an AMD processor for consumer models and an Intel processor for business models. Initially, this processor inconsistency eludes that Microsoft doesn’t believe the AMD model will perform to business grade standards. However, the pair discussed their own theories for the processor differences and came to a different conclusion. Watch the video to hear Brad and Aaron’s speculations. The new release of Surface models greatly differ from traditional Windows products. Unfortunately, as a result from these changes and inconsistencies, users may experience several manageability tradeoffs.

Windows 10 November 2019 Update – what’s the latest?

The Windows 10 1909 update is officially being referred to as the November 2019 Update. The 1909 hype has simmered after users expected a massive upgrade but have now experienced the November 2019 Update as an intensive patch. However, this should not be viewed as a disappointment. The softer release shows Microsoft is exercising responsibility by not releasing an extensive upgrade before focusing on patching malfunctions from their previous updates. The main difference in the November 2019 Update is there are less pre-installed configurations. 2019 updates were somewhat messy for Microsoft and the November 2019 Update is successfully tying many loose ends to issues that arose in previous releases. The pair expects this “clean house” update to serve as a predecessor for a larger 2020 upgrade. Some of the changes users can expect in the from the November 2019 Update are adjustments in the calendar app to create an event from the task bar, Candy Crush will be removed from the Start Menu, digital assistant activation from the Lock screen, and five fixes regarding matched host and container versions.

Microsoft Ignite is around the corner

During the episode, Aaron received a viewer submitted question regarding tips for first time attendees at Microsoft conference, Ignite. Aaron’s advice was to not over do it. There are tons of drinks, snacks, and treats and Aaron recommended to not overindulged to avoid feeling sluggish in order to finish the week strong. Aaron also recommended to go into the conference with a plan and come prepared with questions you need answered. Being strategic about what sessions, speakers, and vendors you want to visit to will help tailor the conference to you and your needs.

Stay tuned for next month as Brad and Aaron will both be attending Ignite where they will be recording November’s Enterprise Dish episode covering industry news, conference events, and much more!

About the Author

Heidi Flaig
Heidi Flaig has overseen the marketing department for SmartDeploy since 2011 and thrives on engaging with IT professionals to better understand how SmartDeploy products can improve their world. She has over 500 contributions in the Spiceworks community. When she’s not in the office, you can find Heidi hiking with her husband, two sons, and silver lab, Miles.