Exam MD-100: Windows Editions

December 10, 2018 at 2:11 am

Let’s review the latest editions of Windows, as we will most certainly require this skill in the new Windows 10 certification exams.

Windows 10 Editions

Here they are:

First, we have the baseline editions. Baseline editions are the only editions available as standalone purchases in the retail outlets.

Baseline Editions

  • Home – Windows 10 Home edition is designed for use in PCs, tablets and 2-in-1 PCs. It includes all consumer-directed features.
  • Pro – Windows 10 Pro includes all features of Windows 10 Home, with additional capabilities that are oriented towards business environments, such as Active Directory, Remote Desktop, BitLocker, Hyper-V, and Windows Defender Device Guard.
  • Pro for Workstations – Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is designed for high-end hardware for intensive computing tasks and supports Intel Xeon, AMD Opteron and the latest AMD Epyc processors; up to four CPUs; up to 6 TB RAM; the ReFS file system; Non-Volatile Dual In-line Memory Module (NVDIMM); and remote direct memory access (RDMA).

Next, we have the organizational editions. These editions add features to facilitate centralized control of many installations of the OS within an organization. The main avenue of acquiring them is a volume licensing contract with Microsoft.

Organizational Editions

  • Enterprise – Windows 10 Enterprise provides all the features of Windows 10 Pro, with additional features to assist with IT-based organizations. Windows 10 Enterprise is configurable on three branches, Semi-Annual Channel, Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted), and Windows Insider.
  • Education – Windows 10 Education is distributed through Academic Volume Licensing. Initially, it was reported to have the same feature set as Windows 10 Enterprise. As of version 1709, however, this edition has fewer features.
  • Pro Education – This edition was introduced in July 2016 for hardware partners on new devices purchased with the discounted K–12 academic licenses. It features a “Set Up School PCs” app that allows provisioning of settings using a USB flash drive and does not include Cortana, Microsoft Store suggestions or Windows Spotlight.
  • Enterprise LTSC – Enterprise LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel) is a long-term support version of Windows 10 Enterprise released every 2 to 3 years. Each release is supported with security updates for 10 years after its release and intentionally receive no feature updates. Some features, including the Microsoft Store and bundled apps, are not included in this edition. This edition was first released as Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB (Long-Term Servicing Branch). There are currently 4 releases of LTSC: two in 2015, one in 2016 and one in 2018/2019.

Finally, there are the device-specific editions. These editions are licensed to device manufacturers only. The main avenue of purchasing these editions is through buying specific devices (e.g. smartphones) that have them pre-installed.

Device-Specific Editions

  • IoT – Designed specifically for use in the small footprint, low-cost devices, and IoT scenarios. It is a rebranded version of Microsoft’s earlier embedded operating systems, Windows Embedded. Three editions are already announced: IoT Core, IoT Enterprise, and IoT Mobile Enterprise.
  • Team – Windows 10 Team is a device-specific version of Windows 10 loaded onto the Surface Hub.

Finally! New Windows 10 Exams in Beta!

December 7, 2018 at 10:45 pm

Windows 10 has evolved (a lot) since those early releases. For example, the HomeGroup feature has bit the IT dust. Microsoft has responded (finally) by releasing two new certification exams in Beta in December 2018.

Windows 10 Certification

This means we will get new versions of the certification and the exams soon. Of course, I am also excited about the new, upcoming courses at CBT Nuggets. Once again, we will focus on Hands-On Labs to ensure that you get sandboxes for Windows 10 to experiment with all the new features and technologies. This time, we will also be offering checkpoint labs where you will be challenged to demonstrate your abilities with Windows 10 support.

Exam MD-100: Windows 10 (beta)

Deploy Windows (15-20%)

  • Deploy Windows 10
    • Configure language packs; migrate user data; perform a clean installation; perform an in-place upgrade (using tools such as MDT, WDS, ADK, etc.); select the appropriate Windows edition; troubleshoot activation issues
  • Perform post-installation configuration
    • Configure Edge and Internet Explorer; configure mobility settings; configure sign-in options; customize the Windows desktop

Manage Devices and Data (35-40%)

  • Manage local users, local groups, and devices
    • Manage devices in directories; manage local groups; manage local users
  • Configure data access and protection
    • Configure NTFS permissions; configure shared permissions
  • Configure devices by using local policies
    • Configure local registry; implement local policy; troubleshoot group policies on devices
  • Manage Windows security
    • Configure user account control (UAC); configure Windows Defender Firewall; implement encryption

Configure Connectivity (15-20%)

  • Configure networking
    • Configure client IP settings; configure mobile networking; configure VPN client; troubleshoot networking; configure Wi-Fi profiles
  • Configure remote connectivity
    • Configure remote management; enable PowerShell Remoting; configure remote desktop access

Maintain Windows (25-30%)

  • Configure system and data recovery
    • Perform file recovery (including OneDrive); recover Windows 10; troubleshoot startup/boot process
  • Manage updates
    • Check for updates; troubleshoot updates; validate and test updates; select the appropriate servicing channel; configure Windows update options
  • Monitor and manage Windows
    • Configure and analyze event logs; manage performance; manage Windows 10 environment

MD-101 Managing Modern Desktops (beta)

Deploy and Update Operating Systems (15-20%)

  • Plan and implement Windows 10 by using dynamic deployment
    • Evaluate and select appropriate deployment options; pilot deployment; manage and troubleshoot provisioning packages
  • Plan and implement Windows 10 by using Windows Autopilot
    • Evaluate and select appropriate deployment options; pilot deployment; create, validate, and assign deployment profile; extract device HW information to CSV file; import device HW information to cloud service; troubleshoot deployment
  • Upgrade devices to Windows 10
    • Identify upgrade and downgrade paths; manage in-place upgrades; configure a Windows analytics environment; perform Upgrade Readiness assessment; migrate user profiles
  • Manage updates
    • Configure Windows 10 delivery optimization; configure Windows Update for Business; deploy Windows updates; implement feature updates; monitor Windows 10 updates
  • Manage device authentication
    • Manage authentication policies; manage sign-on options; perform Azure AD join

Manage Policies and Profiles (35-40%)

  • Plan and implement co-management
    • Implement co-management precedence; migrate group policy to MDM policies; recommend a co-management strategy
  • Implement conditional access and compliance policies for devices
    • Implement conditional access policies; manage conditional access policies; plan conditional access policies; implement device compliance policies; manage device compliance policies; plan device compliance policies
  • Configure device profiles
    • Implement device profiles; manage device profiles; plan device profiles
  • Manage user profiles
    • Configure user profiles; configure Enterprise State Roaming in Azure AD; configure sync settings; implement Folder Redirection (including OneDrive)

Manage and Protect Devices (15-20%)

  • Manage Windows Defender
    • Implement and manage Windows Defender Application Guard; implement and manage Windows Defender Credential Guard; implement and manage Windows Defender Exploit Guard; implement Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection; integrate Windows Defender Application Control; manage Windows Defender Antivirus
  • Manage Intune device enrollment and inventory
    • Configure enrollment settings; configure Intune automatic enrollment; enable device enrollment; enroll non-Windows devices; enroll Windows devices; generate custom device inventory reports; review device inventory
  • Monitor devices
    • Monitor device health (e.g., log analytics, Windows Analytics, or other cloud-based tools); monitor device security

Manage Apps and Data (25-30%)

  • Deploy and update applications
    • Assign apps to groups; Deploy apps by using Intune; deploy apps by using Microsoft Store for Business; deploy O365 ProPlus; enable sideloading of apps into images; gather Office readiness data; configure IE Enterprise mode; configure and implement assigned access or public devices
  • Implement Mobile Application Management (MAM)
    • Implement MAM policies; manage MAM policies; plan MAM; configure Windows Information Protection; implement Azure Information Protection templates; securing data by using Intune

Windows 10 Versions!

August 6, 2018 at 3:18 pm

windows 10

If you support a lot of very different Windows 10 deployments like I do, then you might find it useful to check out this recap of the versions we have (and will have) of this Microsoft desktop OS. Remember, to quickly check a running version, use Search for About Your PC and check the Version designation. As I write this – I am on version 1803 of Windows 10.

Microsoft so far is making good on their promise that there will never be a Windows 11 – and they will upgrade Windows 10 with Internet-delivered updates for the rest of our lives. 🙂 What do you think about this strategy? Let me know in the comments below.

  • Version 1507 – this was the first Windows 10 release on July 29, 2015. Man how time flies. This version number has actually been created by Microsoft since that time because they were not using Versioning numbers back then!
  • Version 1511 (The November Update) – this was the free update version for previous Windows users – it was released in – wait for it – November of 20165.
  • Version 1607 (The Aniversary Update) – July 18, 2016, featured this version of Windows 10 – this version mainly focused on many administration tools for IT support staff.
  • Version 1703 (Creators Update) – April 2017 – 3D tools for creative types and a bunch of improvements to Edge made up this release. 
  • Version 1709 (Fall Creators Update) – October 2017 – this one touted Windows Mixed Reality – which I must admit – I became a huge fan of. I went with the Dell Visor and Hand Controller Thingies and have had hours and hours of fun with the family and VR. 
  • Version 1803 (April 2018 Update) – a new feature that I have really yet to use called Timeline was released. As you might guess – there were a bunch of enhancements for a variety of existing services like Edge.

What is next as I write this? An October 2018 update! The biggest new feature in that release should be the multitasking improvement of a feature called Sets. For more information – check this out – Microsoft Windows 10 Sets.

What to Look Forward to in the Windows 10 Spring 2018 Update

March 27, 2018 at 12:18 am

windows 10

I have been using the new Windows 10 for some time now as part of the Windows Insider Fast Track program. I am thrilled to announce the overall stability and some pretty damn cool features:

  • Timeline – when you access the Task View (with Windows Key + Tab or clicking the Task View button), you now have access to tasks that you were working on earlier. What a great new feature that allows you to go back to documents, Apps, or Web sites you were working with. Super cool.
  • Near Share – Microsoft finally copies Apples AirDrop for easy file sharing with a system that is in close proximity
  • Diagnostic Data Viewer – curious about the exact diagnostic information your system is sending to Microsoft? Now you can easily view that data.
  • Bluetooth Quick Pairing – just place a device in pairing mode near Windows 10 and a slide out dialog will offer the pairing option. It should always be this easy!
  • Progressive Web App Support – the Edge browser now supports PWA. These are Web pages that look and feel and run like applications.
  • Font Management – fonts are now easily managed in Settings and can even be purchased from the Windows Store.
  • Edge, Cortana, and My People improvements abound.
  • HDR video support.
  • Graphics settings for multiple GPUs.
  • Enhanced App Permissions options.
  • Focus Assist replaces Quiet Hours and is enhanced.
  • Language Pack delivery now handled in the Windows Store.
  • Enhanced Display and DPI settings are available.
  • As I covered previously here at the blog – HomeGroups are now dead.
  • Enhanced features for developers.
  • A better Linux app.

I hope you are excited about the next Windows 10 – and as always – if you have any questions let me know in the comments below.

Say Goodbye to the Windows 10 HomeGroup Feature

March 19, 2018 at 7:02 pm

Last night (3/18/2018) I downloaded and installed the latest Preview Build of the upcoming Windows 10 Spring 2018 Update and discovered that Microsoft is killing the HomeGroup feature of Windows 10. That’s right, even if you are currently running it in your latest production builds – it will be stripped from your systems when you move to the next major update of Windows 10 in the Spring of 2018.

At least that is currently what is set to happen per Microsoft. Of course, there is time for this to change (think the canceled destruction of the classic Paint app). I really doubt Microsoft will change their mind on this one, however.

What does Microsoft want Windows 10 users to do instead of relying on the HomeGroup features? Well, the answer is clear – they want you to use OneDrive for your sharing needs, and for whatever that cannot handle, they want you to use the Sharing functionality in the various network object properties.

NOTE: For those of my readers preparing for MCSA Certification in Windows 10, remember, HomeGroup is NOT dead as far as the current exams are concerned. The topics for HomeGroup are still alive and well in the exam objectives and the actual exams themselves. It will not be until the Windows 10 Exam refreshes will we see the end of HomeGroup from a certification perspective.

Windows 10 File and Folder Management

January 3, 2018 at 5:40 pm

Windows 10

This Nugget is a critical video from the course Windows 10 End-User Essentials at CBT Nuggets. This course provides a Hands-On Lab environment to teach learners key skills they need to succeed with Windows 10.