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Microsoft Managed Desktop: All your Windows 10 devices, managed by Microsoft

Bill Predmore, president and co-owner of professional women’s soccer team the Seattle Reign, has enough to worry about without managing PCs. “I don’t want to have to think about technology,” he told CIO.com. “I want it to be like a utility where I flip a switch and it just works.”

So, in December 2017, the Seattle Reign turned to a private preview of Microsoft Managed Desktop (MMD), a new desktop management service from Microsoft, which Predmore heard about in advance as the company is a team sponsor. With MMD, corporate customers receive access to Microsoft 365 on a modern device that is managed by Microsoft.

For the Seattle Reign this means a mix of Surface laptops, some Surface Pros that are used on the field and off, and one Surface Studio. Microsoft also supports devices from HP and Dell, with the baseline for support being a spec that includes a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chip, biometric login, and high-quality drivers.

Microsoft 365 combines Windows, Office and Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility and Security management service, and MMD locks that down even further. “We don’t allow third-party agents to run, to minimize the numbers of background agents running,” says Microsoft General Manager Bill Karagounis. “It’s a very native stack secured by Windows Defender and Defender ATP, monitored by us in our security operations center so you’re not compromising the battery life and performance of devices by having five or ten agents running at all time.”

Predmore has been pleasantly surprised by the results, in particular how smoothly Windows feature updates and monthly security updates have been.

“Technology is a potential competitive advantage for us but I’m forever worried about somebody getting a virus,” Predmore says. “Now all that security is managed by Microsoft and I just don’t have to worry about it.”

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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