How Windows 365 Helps Achieve Sustainability

The need for greater focus on more sustainable practices is something that has become of significant importance to most nations. And it’s clear to see why as we look at our environment and see the danger for future generations. Microsoft takes this responsibility very seriously and considers sustainability as part of the organization’s culture. Therefore, it’s important to develop products and services with sustainability in mind. This is why a platform like Windows 365 is so great because of the potential it has. In this blog, I’ll be looking at just how Windows 365 can help in the development and implementation of more sustainable solutions. 

Importance of sustainable practices

Over the twentieth century, we witnessed incredible advances in technology and innovation. And no one can deny the benefits that humanity has reaped from all this development. However, a lot of the time these developments occur without any concern for the environment around us. All around us the results are evident in the depletion of natural resources, pollution, deforestation, poor air quality, etc. If we consider just the United States alone the CO2 emissions are already concerning and could potentially reach very dangerous levels in a few more decades.

Fortunately, over the last few decades, people have become increasingly aware of how terribly our planet has suffered. And now organizations like Microsoft are working tirelessly to develop sustainable technologies that can limit the negative impact that we humans have on the environment. Ideally, these technologies should limit environmental degradation during the manufacturing stage as well as during usage. Unfortunately, a lot of the environmental damage cannot be reversed. But with services like Windows 365, Microsoft is looking to protect our environment from further destruction.  

Impact of technology on the environment

For a lot of folks, when you think about technology what comes to mind are computers, cellphones, tablets, smart gadgets, and anything else that has become a must-have, integral part of our lives. Not many will consider the environmental impact of their cellphone or PC. But, the reality is that the devices we use all require various materials to make them and these include finite natural resources, precious metals, and more. 


Also, we cannot ignore the environmental impact of the mining process itself. It is responsible for deforestation, landscape destruction, and water pollution. And this is long before we even address the often incalculable loss suffered by entire communities that may face displacement.


And then there is the colossal energy consumption and production of gas emissions that are involved. Unfortunately, this doesn’t end with the mining process. We find that manufacturers as well will require huge amounts of energy to turn the products of mining into the modern high-tech devices that end up in our homes. 

After the manufacturers are done, businesses will rely on vast transport networks to get the various products delivered to clients all across the globe. So, as we move along the chain, more and more energy is required and gas emissions keep increasing. To add to all of this, the cost to the environment will keep growing for the lifecycle of these gadgets. Because every time you plug a device into a non-renewable energy source there is a carbon cost incurred. 


Unfortunately, however, the cycle doesn’t end once a device is no longer in use. Tens of billions of dollars (yes, billions) worth of electronic waste is thrown away annually, with most of its remains ending up in landfills or burned. As much as recycling may be gaining traction, not enough old electronic devices are being recycled. 

The carbon emissions from dumping electronics are massive. But we additionally have to worry about the leaching of chemicals which is going to worsen environmental degradation and potentially pollute water. This can be extremely frustrating especially when considering how beneficial it would actually be to the environment if we could reclaim valuable materials through recycling. Not to mention the potential employment creation and economic benefits. 

Why is Windows 365 important?

Windows 365 is a platform that Microsoft has designed to offer an innovative, virtualization service that can help minimize our negative impact on the environment. Announced in 2021, Windows 365 enables users to access Cloud PCs from anywhere.

As businesses increasingly continue to embrace the idea of a hybrid work environment, Windows 365 wants to be the solution and hybrid platform of choice for those workers looking to migrate to the cloud. By streaming Windows 10 or Windows 11 to almost any available device, Microsoft will offer users the ability to take their desktops anywhere. And Microsoft assures clients that Cloud PCs are highly secure so users can work remotely with greater peace of mind.


Immediately you begin to see how Windows 365 is hugely beneficial to the environment. Because all your computing needs are taken care of on the Microsoft Cloud, you don’t necessarily need a powerful device. As a result, it means that organizations may not need to keep purchasing devices for new employees. And they also won’t need to keep refreshing devices every few years. To make accessing Cloud PCs convenient and easy, Microsoft allows you to use most devices.

All you need is a decent internet connection and you’ll be able to operate a reasonably powerful Windows PC using just about any device. So, all Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices should be compatible with Windows 365. The best part, however, is that clients will be able to easily stream a Windows 365 session to hardware running macOS, iOS, Linux, and Android. Ultimately what this will mean is that businesses won’t need to be potentially throwing away PCs as often as they do now. In addition to the environmental benefits, the financial upside for businesses would be massive.


Network servers are key infrastructure and have a tendency of taking up a lot of on-site space. That’s not all but the hassle of maintaining said servers including the security personnel to oversee and monitor them can drive costs sky high. Fortunately, Windows 365 has made it possible for organizations to reduce both this expenditure and the business’ physical footprint.

The fact of moving operations to the cloud means the amount of office space needed is significantly decreased. A modest business premise will probably be all that’s necessary instead of the vast swathes of corporal real estate typical of pre-pandemic offices. 

Furthermore, thanks to the remote working models adopted by companies during the pandemic and the flexibility Windows 365 affords, it may be possible for a sizable part of the workforce to continue working remotely full-time. 

Reducing consumption

One of the biggest selling points when it comes to Windows 365 is that you pay only for what you need. Organizations, both big and small, can pick the subscription model that best fits them.

The subscription models available are Windows 365 Business for smaller businesses and Windows 365 Enterprise for larger ones. Regardless of which you choose, you get the same range of features and an extensive 12 Cloud PC configurations from which to make your selection. For those looking for a bargain, the first configuration is worth considering. For just $20 you get 1vCPU, 2GB RAM, and 64GB storage. If your employees are frontline workers or only require access to basic CRM software then this configuration is ideal. For more demanding operations, the $158 option gives you access to 8 vCPUs, with 32GB RAM and 512GB storage. This setup works best for those dealing with heavy computing scenarios like software engineers. Whether you’re looking for a lightweight or heavy-duty option, there is a solution for you.

The reason why this is so important is that having access to the computing resources you need and no more can help to reduce electricity consumption. When you look at traditional data hardware systems, they require a consistent power supply to run the infrastructure efficiently. Not to mention things like cooling fans, alarm systems, etc. All these elements combined consume a significant amount of electricity. 


And the bigger the organization, the larger the infrastructure will be, and consequently the greater the electricity consumption. Windows 365 offers organizations the option to migrate their operations to the cloud and start saving energy. Some reports have suggested that cloud migration has the potential to reduce energy consumption by up to 65%. If accurate this would undoubtedly be a great step towards achieving sustainability goals. And if you can reduce energy consumption by that much then that will also reflect very favorably in the organization’s finances.


In addition to the potential reduction in energy consumption, there is some research that appears to suggest that organizations can reduce their carbon emissions by 72 to 98% by moving their IT infrastructure from traditional data centers to the cloud. In this Microsoft white paper, we are told:

“Microsoft Cloud is between 22 and 93% more energy efficient than traditional enterprise data centers, depending on the specific comparison being made. When taking into account our renewable energy purchases, the Microsoft cloud is between 72 and 98% more carbon efficient.” 

Typically, we expect cloud data centers to help reduce carbon emissions because they will generally have newer, more efficient equipment and are increasingly relying on renewable energy. Although measuring and reducing carbon emissions presents significant challenges, a lot of research is still going on to aid the development of more sustainable solutions.   

Assessing your sustainability

With an increasing number of organizations being concerned about sustainability, it may be time for your business to start planning an assessment. Especially considering the public interest in sustainable businesses. Before you start looking at sustainable solutions and how to implement them, you need to do an assessment of your business operations and the impact on the environment. Once you have that information and a clear picture of your business’ operations, you can develop baselines that you can build on. There are various assessments that can be carried out and below are some of them.


Businesses often have massive energy consumption, although some will obviously utilize far more than others. By doing a thorough assessment, you can see how your business is operating and this will enable you to not only reduce energy consumption but greenhouse gas emissions as well, among other things. A good way to complete this assessment may include working alongside engineers and other experts in sustainable practices.


When looking at how businesses emit greenhouse gases that list is often a very long one. The most obvious would be powering your premises, manufacturing processes, transportation of staff, distribution of products, etc. As we can see from the few listed examples, carrying out this assessment is far from a simple exercise. However, it’s an extremely important process if you want to see what your business carbon footprint looks like.

Unlike with the energy audit, measuring your carbon footprint requires the calculation of the greenhouse gases emitted by your business premises and the various operations. The energy audit and carbon footprint measurement work hand in hand since they expectedly affect each other. And similar to the energy audit, measuring your greenhouse gas emissions is easy when executed by a professional team/service.

Working remotely

A lot of businesses have been adopting hybrid working setups in the last few years. After the pandemic, as things slowly started to return to normal, businesses were discovering that some employees still preferred to work from home. And the great thing about the Windows 365 Cloud PC is that it allows users to work easily from anywhere without compromising the organization’s security. 


But, the benefits of the Cloud PC go beyond the flexibility afforded to employees. If people are given the option to work from home, they will. And this reduces their need for commuting and consequently the demands on the transportation sector. In a report by The Global Workplace Analytics, they made the assessment that remote workers can contribute massively to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by removing over half a million cars from the road. In addition, they go on to state that even working from home half the week can see an emissions reduction of up to 54 million tons every year.

Something else that we could potentially benefit from is a cleaner atmosphere. There’s no denying that the fuel used by cars or the emissions from buses have played a massive role in the rapidly declining quality of the air we breathe. So sustainable solutions that can help improve the quality of air would be most welcome. 

At the height of the pandemic during the lockdowns, a lot of people would have noticed how the quality of air appeared to improve, albeit temporarily. Therefore, adopting platforms like Windows 365 could do a lot to mitigate the effects of environmental degradation. In addition to the environmental benefits, there’s plenty more to like when you look at the features of Windows 365.


And it’s these features that enable this service to be an attractive option for organizations looking to minimize their environmental footprint.  Among these features we can list: 

  • Instant boot to a personal Cloud PC.
  • Clients get the full Windows experience in the cloud.
  • Clients can also stream various applications, tools, data, and settings directly from the Microsoft Cloud across any device.
  • You get a choice of running either Windows 10 or Windows 11.
  • Secure by design, and fully compliant with Microsoft’s Zero Trust principle.
  • Flexible per-user, per-month pricing plans at flat subscription rates.
  • A scalable set of virtual hardware parameters that lets you adjust to changing conditions whenever necessary.
  • Fully compliant with Azure AD and MEM.
  • Fast setup process that provisions your Cloud PC within minutes.

Sustainability solutions

Microsoft is clearly playing a significant role in trying to help businesses achieve their sustainability goals and accelerate that progress. And another key element is the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability which combines environmental, social, and governance (ESG) capabilities across the Microsoft cloud portfolio to enhance the way businesses are operating. This is in addition to the solutions from Microsoft partners who they’re working with to enable organizations to get the necessary transparency and insights for the effective management of their environmental footprint.

These efforts should also allow organizations to implement sustainability throughout their entire organizations and value chains. As a result, businesses will be able to develop new value in this changing landscape. By leveraging Unify data intelligence, you’ll be able to get the visibility required for you to push business transformation, sustainability efforts, and sustainability reporting. What this means is that your organization can streamline data ingestion, integration, and calculations as well as analyze and report environmental impact and sustainability progress.


Next, we can talk about how to build a sustainable IT infrastructure. This approach enables businesses to identify opportunities to swap out their existing suite of solutions for cleaner versions that increase the business’ overall value. Leveraging this option you can:

  • Establish carbon and energy efficiencies within cloud infrastructure.
  • Evaluate, track, and assist with enhancing compliance with international, regional, and industry policies and standards.
  • Incorporate sustainable technologies designed with environmental impact in mind.

Another key thing you’ll want to do is reduce environmental impact of operations. Businesses need to assess their operations, systems, tools, etc, to determine how they can reduce their environmental footprint. This is important so that you can:

  • Promote energy efficiencies and move towards renewable energy sources.
  • Upgrade transportation systems and improve fleets.
  • Minimize the environmental impact of buildings, spaces, and equipment.
  • Facilitate streamlined collaboration regarding targets and objectives.

Furthermore, we cannot ignore the issue of creating sustainable value chains. This is a critical area that allows you to put in place measures for transparency and accountability throughout the entire value chain. So that means from the businesses where you source your materials right through the end of use. Ultimately, this should enable you to optimize materials and thus create more sustainable products and services.

What else does Windows 365 offer?

Meeting sustainability goals is a wonderful target to have but organizations need to know what else Windows 365 can offer.


As attractive as the idea of achieving sustainability is, without top-notch security migrating to the cloud would not be a good idea. So, Microsoft has enhanced security measures by implementing Zero Trust principles enabling each request to be fully authenticated, authorized, and encrypted before access is granted. Add to that the fact that data is not stored on the physical devices but on the cloud and you have even more protection around your data. These measures should help to assuage concerns about the security of remote work as well as the risk of security breaches. Not to forget as well that Windows 365 clients can benefit from the already existing solutions that are part of Microsoft Endpoint Manager.


Microsoft boasts that the user-friendliness of this service means organizations won’t have to hire additional IT specialists to configure and supervise Cloud PCs. This effortless management model and instant start-up capacity means that even the less tech-savvy members of your team can perform their duties without too much trouble. This is something that may also help you to lower overall operating costs. Furthermore, your IT staff can manage, deploy, and configure the PC environment just as they have done all along.

Wrap up

Change is something that is rarely easy to accomplish but is often necessary. As our environment continues to suffer, individuals and organizations need to start working towards sustainable goals. And the IT sector can do a lot to help the cause of this planet. Microsoft has taken a huge interest in sustainable development and we see that with services like Windows 365. The solutions it offers can play a big role in reducing energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste. Undoubtedly this will not be an overnight process but progress needs to be swift because of the situation we already find ourselves in. Fortunately, as the push for more eco-friendly products and services gathers momentum, we are seeing greater participation from all industries. And this can only be a good thing for the planet.

Introducing the Microsoft Inclusive Tech Lab

As we all know, over the years Microsoft has already put in a lot of work towards the development of more inclusive solutions for all its customers. So when we talk about the Microsoft Inclusive Tech Lab, we’re not talking about something new but rather a significant update on the lab that had previously been at the center of this work. 

According to Microsoft, this new lab which is designed “to learn and develop specifically for people with various types of disabilities” will provide a facility that can greatly enhance the work being done to provide more inclusive solutions. In this blog, I will take an in-depth look at this new Microsoft Inclusive Tech Lab and what it could mean for inclusivity going forward. 

Why we need inclusive solutions

In this modern era that we live in, no one can deny the significance of technology in all our lives. Regardless of which sector we can look at. Whether it’s the health sector, education, engineering, etc. The applications of various types of technology are limitless in any sector.

And this is exactly why it’s important to ensure that technology can be accessible to everyone. So what do we imply when we say “inclusive technology?” Simply put, all this refers to is ensuring that the technology available is accessible to everyone including groups that may previously have had difficulty accessing it such as those living with disabilities.  

By having facilities such as the Microsoft Inclusive Tech Lab, we will witness significant strides being made in providing inclusive technology solutions for everyone. And this is something that would be crucial not just in the work environment but beginning in early education. 

This will help to provide all students with a similar platform for engaging with learning material and enhancing the learning experience. With a setup like this in place, we can expect to see the benefits of this go beyond the educational phase and into the work environment.  

Introducing the Inclusive Tech Lab

Arguably the most important aspect of the Microsoft Inclusive Tech Lab is that it not only develops inclusive solutions but that these solutions are made by people living with disabilities. As such, the objective for Microsoft is to show just how great the potential can be when you bring in people with disabilities in the development process. 

The facility itself is a representation of how committed Microsoft is to developing inclusive solutions. Especially when considering how sensitive a lot of individuals may be to their environment. This then creates the ideal environment where introductory tours and collaborative workshops can be held to further the work being carried out.

The lab gives you an opportunity to view just how Microsoft’s products as well as those of its partners can work together to good effect. Therefore, this is the place to go when searching for the best assistive solutions that Microsoft and its partners are putting together. 

This kind of work clearly demonstrates how Microsoft and its partners are determined to ensure that the fruits of all their development work can benefit all who require access. Expanding the realm of possibilities can significantly alter what the future of the technology industry can look like.

According to Microsoft:

The space is purpose-built to continue this work. It is highly modular and will adapt to specific needs over time and across different projects, allowing discussion and design sessions on products and services intended for home, the workplace, schools, and remote connections. It is a place designed to demonstrate what is possible when you intentionally and proactively include people with disabilities in the product-making process and strive to build products that are genuinely inclusive by design.

The Inclusive Tech Lab is intended to be an embassy for people with disabilities, not a space about them. It will include a showcase of Microsoft’s accessible hardware, software, and services, as well as experiences created by our partners. Primarily, however, it is an inclusive design incubator where Microsoft and disability communities can ideate and evaluate product design and direction. It is a space where our designers can challenge assumptions while learning to recognize the exclusions and constraints faced by people with disabilities. We harness that understanding to create new ideas, designing for “one” and extending to many.”

Inclusive involvement

The teams of individuals working on various projects are encouraged to use the ideas they have received from people with disabilities and find ways to apply them to the technologies they are working on. By providing teams with this lab and all its capabilities, the people here literally have the sky as the limit. They can imagine and work on ideas that are driven toward making a fully accessible environment for everyone across the globe. 

The full involvement of people with disabilities means that the Microsoft Inclusive Tech Lab seeks to do more than just create a product. As good as that may be, the project wants those working on solutions to be able to relate on a deeper level to those who they are designing products for and how it will affect their lives.  

Principles of Inclusive Design

So now that we’ve looked at why seeking to develop inclusive solutions is such an important objective, we can consider the principles that Microsoft will lean on during this endeavor. Firstly, we can talk about the recognition of exclusion. What this simply refers to is the fact that all of us, regardless of where we’re from, have our own inherent biases that determine how we view the world and therefore live our lives. 

The key then at Microsoft is to acknowledge that these biases exist and this gives you an opportunity to explore these issues. As you recognize what they are and how detrimental they’ve been, you can start engaging the affected communities and coming up with inclusive solutions to bridge all the necessary gaps.

Learning from diversity

The next principle that Microsoft looks at is that of learning from diversity. This is because there is an appreciation of just how different and divergent perspectives can positively impact a learning or work environment. We actually find that in some schools of thought, it is believed that within diverse work and learning environments cognitive skills and critical thinking can improve. 

What causes this is that the interactions that go on in these diverse communities can challenge you as an individual with different views and perspectives that you might not have previously considered. 

Therefore, Microsoft wants to have its Inclusive Tech Lab be a place that will promote learning from diversity. Especially considering the wide reach of its products and services across all continents.  

The last principle I’ll talk about is that of trying to solve challenges for one in a way that will extend to others. When looking at developing solutions from this perspective, the idea is that most people have abilities but as human beings there will always be limitations to those abilities. 

So, when we start considering creating inclusive technology solutions what we can ultimately come up with are systems that will enhance accessibility for people living with disabilities. However, we can also expect to see other users of these products being able to benefit as well. 

Microsoft’s Adaptive Accessories

At the heart of the work that Microsoft is doing with inclusive technologies are the adaptive accessories. These accessories, which have significant input from disability communities, are highly adaptable and have been designed with the intention of making them customizable to suit individual needs. The product line features an Adaptive Mouse, Adaptive Hub, and Adaptive Buttons. 

All of the accessories can be configured as necessary and will support everything. And so this includes first-party add-ons such as Thumb Supports or Mouse Tails, as well as custom 3D-printed add-ons that enhance the various use cases. These devices leverage the foundation that was laid by the Xbox Adaptive Controller and aims to eliminate the challenges that the disability community has faced with the traditional mouse and keyboard setup. 

Adaptive Hub

This product is designed to enable users to turn traditional keyboards into a central hub with several wireless buttons. It is in the form of a small, box-shaped device that is meant to enable the devices to offer accessibility. What this entails is that users can augment traditional keyboards and create custom inputs. You’ll notice that the Adaptive Hub has five 3.5mm ports, three USB-C ports, as well as a Bluetooth pairing button. The aforementioned ports are where you connect the adaptive buttons and switches. Furthermore, it can connect to your current assistive technology, such as third-party digital buttons and switches, through the 3.5mm ports.

Adaptive Mouse

This adaptable mouse is built to be accessible. You can personalize the device by attaching the Microsoft Adaptive Mouse Tail and Thumb Support. By leveraging these attachable parts, Microsoft offers users the chance to have a mouse that is designed to fit their unique needs. Also, I’m sure users will gladly discover that the adaptable and customizable attachments help to make the device lighter and more portable. Unlike other accessories, the Adaptive Mouse will connect directly to your PC. The two buttons that it has are easily clickable which adds to the ease of use. And it also features a similarly clickable scroll wheel. In addition, you get the option to configure the buttons and scroll wheel for action/function shortcuts and for both short presses and long presses. 

Adaptive Button

With the Adaptive Button, users will get a small, square-shaped wireless button. It is designed to give you eight digital inputs that can be uniquely customized in the Microsoft Accessory Center and an easy-to-press design. And each Adaptive Hub can connect with up to four Adaptive Buttons. In addition, because of the partnership with Shapeways (which is a 3D-printing company that creates other 3D-printed toppers), users can customize their devices by custom-printing their own button toppers. So, if the button toppers that Microsoft can offer you out of the box are not suitable for you then you can get something more personalized. The design of the button including its small size means that it’s relatively easy to hold and place according to your usage needs. 

Inclusive Design for Gaming

As already mentioned above, a significant amount of the work being done at the Microsoft Inclusive Tech Lab has to do with gaming consoles. There has been a growing realization of just how much need there is for inclusive solutions for gaming systems. 

For instance, the typical controller that comes with the vast majority of consoles requires two hands, two thumbs, and fine motor control for you to operate comfortably. Quite simply, this will mean the exclusion of a significant number of people who are living with disabilities. 

With this in mind, the teams of individuals working on the development of inclusive solutions need to recognize the exclusion that has existed with gaming consoles in the past. We can appreciate that these devices’ designers worked with certain assumptions about the users of these devices and how they would be using them. 

Unfortunately, that has created a scenario where plenty of potential users can use these devices but with great difficulty or may not be able to use them at all. So, Microsoft now appreciates that if users can’t use their products because of how they were designed then that creates a massive barrier. And this is what a lot of the work at the Inclusive Tech Lab is based around, developing solutions that can eliminate these barriers. 

Learning from diversity

Another important key area for gaming is learning from diversity. Microsoft has been able to do this over the years by engaging with the various gaming communities to seek their insights on a variety of issues. The teams working on these products have received feedback on the functionality of the devices, their ease of use, and any changes that users may want to see to improve accessibility. 

And all of this feedback combined with the development work being done has been central to the creation of inclusive gaming solutions such as the Xbox Adaptive Controller. Products like these will mean that can be something all users can potentially enjoy even more. 

Creating solutions that enhance inclusivity can be of great benefit to all. Why should individuals living with disabilities be restricted from the gaming experience that countless others across all continents get to enjoy? As Microsoft was working on the adaptive controller, there was a need to take into consideration the unique ambulatory abilities of users in the targeted communities. 

Not only that but looking at people’s situations such as Gamer, CareGiver, Maker, etc, allowed for the development of a product that could be tailored to address various needs. Going forward, we would fully expect the Xbox Adaptive Controller to play a key role in shaping inclusive solutions and significantly enhance the ease of use for all users. 

Inclusive Solutions

Microsoft has been working on several inclusive technologies for a while now. In fact, the Inclusive Tech Lab isn’t exactly something completely new. It’s something that the Xbox team has had in place since 2017 as they were working on the Xbox Adaptive Controller

Now, Microsoft has provided a designated space, extended the lab, and is looking to develop integrative design by working closely with the disability community. The work being done in this environment is producing a great variety of accessibility tools. In the table below we’ll go over some of the possibilities available.


Adapt Windows to your vision

  • use the available color filters
  • change the color contrast
  • make Windows easier to see
  • use Magnifier to enhance the visibility of what’s on the screen
  • use color and contrast for accessibility in Microsoft 365

Listen instead of watch

  • use Narrator to hear text read aloud
  • use the screen reader with Microsoft 365 apps
  • listen to your Outlook email messages
  • listen to your Word documents
  • converting text to speech in Excel
  • seeing AI narration (hear descriptive audio everywhere)
  • Microsoft Soundscape (experience maps in 3D sound)

Use Immersive Reader

  • use Immersive Reader in Microsoft Edge
  • open Immersive Reader for Outlook
  • use Immersive Reader in Word
  • use Immersive Reader in Microsoft Teams
  • use Immersive Reader in PowerPoint
  • use Immersive Reader for OneNote
  • use Immersive Reader in Microsoft Forms

Improve the efficiency of keyboard use

  • take advantage of keyboard shortcuts for accessibility


Adapt Windows to your hearing

  • with mono audio, you can hear all sounds in one channel
  • change caption settings
  • make notifications stick around longer
  • display audio alerts visually

Watch instead of listen

  • instead of listening to sounds you can use text or visual alternatives
  • you can autogenerate captions for videos
  • you can use captions and subtitles during Skype calls
  • in Microsoft Teams meetings you can make use of live captions
  • add closed captions and/or subtitles to media in PowerPoint

Improve the efficiency of keyboard use

  • take advantage of keyboard shortcuts for added accessibility
  • use the Search/Tell Me feature (find the command you want)


Adapt Windows to suit your needs

  • make the Start menu simpler
  • declutter your taskbar and make it clean
  • focus on a task by minimizing distractions
  • customize the taskbar

Improve reading comprehension and writing skills

  • enable text suggestions in Windows
  • make reading easier by downloading and using fluent fonts
  • customize text spacing
  • take advantage of learning tools in OneNote
  • use Microsoft Editor to polish grammar and more

Customize your reading experience and read without distractions

  • when using Microsoft Edge, take advantage of Immersive Reader
  • use Immersive Reader in Word
  • open Immersive Reader for Outlook
  • use Immersive Reader in PowerPoint
  • use Immersive Reader for OneNote

Maintain focus and organization

  • improve your PowerPoint slides
  • by keeping your Microsoft 365 files in OneDrive you can prevent the loss of your work
  • make use of the calendar board view to organize things according to your needs
  • go paperless with Microsoft Lens

Improve the efficiency of keyboard use

  • take advantage of keyboard shortcuts for added accessibility
  • use the Search/Tell Me feature (find the command you want)


Improve writing quality

  • you can use Microsoft Editor as your writing assistant in documents, mail, on the web, etc. Also, you can use it to check your grammar, spelling, and more in Word.
  • you can type with your voice to dictate documents, to talk instead of type on your PC, as well as for troubleshooting.

Reading comprehension and skills improvement

  • use the Immersive Reader
  • practice reading fluency with the Reading Progress tool
  • if you want to eliminate distracting content from the web you can make use of the Reading view
  • hear text read out loud

Improve math skills

  • you can benefit from inclusive math interactive training
  • you can use Microsoft 365 apps to write equations or formulas
  • use Microsoft Forms to create math quizzes
  • use OneNote to create math equations
  • use OneNote Math Assistant to help you solve equations, draw graphs, and more.
  • replay ink strokes in OneNote for Windows
  • draw straight lines or measure with the ruler in OneNote

Communicate confidently with inclusiveness

  • create an inclusive communication environment. You can do this with the use of Reflect in Microsoft Teams as well as live captions during Teams events.
  • create inclusive PowerPoint presentations. This can be done by doing this such as using the Accessibility Checker to enhance accessibility and making presentations with real-time, automatic captions or subtitles in PowerPoint, among others.
  • use Microsoft Translator

Configure Windows for effective learning

  • make the Start menu simpler
  • declutter your taskbar and make it clean
  • focus on a task by minimizing distractions (Turn off animation and transparency effects)
  • use Magnifier to enhance the visibility of what’s on the screen
  • customize the taskbar
  • block alerts and notifications by using Focus assist


Configure Windows to meet your mobility needs

  • Make your keyboard, mouse, and other input devices easier to use. You can do this by controlling your mouse pointer with the numeric keypad or making use of the Filter Keys to set the sensitivity of the keyboard, among other things.
  • As an alternative to typing on the physical keyboard, you can use the on-screen keyboard.

Type and navigate with your voice

  • use voice recognition in Windows
  • Windows Speech Recognition commands
  • dictate your documents in Word

Control Windows and apps with your eyes

  • take advantage of eye control features to enhance ease of use

Improve the efficiency of keyboard use

  • take advantage of keyboard shortcuts for added accessibility
  • use the Search/Tell Me feature (find the command you want)

Mental health

Configure Windows to meet your needs

  • make the Start menu simpler
  • declutter your taskbar and make it clean
  • focus on a task by minimizing distractions (Turn off animation and transparency effects)
  • use Magnifier to enhance the visibility of what’s on the screen
  • customize the taskbar
  • block alerts and notifications by using Focus assist
  • enable text suggestions

Improve your focus

  • using Immersive Reader can help you work with fewer distractions
  • stay on track with your tasks by creating Outlook tasks in OneNote or using the Tasks app in Microsoft Teams.
  • customize the look and feel of Office to your liking
  • use Microsoft Viva Insights to help you develop more efficient work habits

Improve the efficiency of keyboard use

  • take advantage of keyboard shortcuts for added accessibility
  • use the Search/Tell Me feature (find the command you want)

Tactile Port Indicators

Having tactile indicators placed on devices can be a great feature that can enhance ease of use for countless people. And for an example of this, we can look at the work that Microsoft has put into devices such as the Xbox Series X game console, Microsoft Audio Dock, and the Surface Thunderbolt Dock among others to improve accessibility for the visually impaired. 

The reason this came about is that when we consider a lot of devices out there, ports like the USBA and the HDMI can feel pretty similar to the touch. And so people working at the Microsoft Inclusive Tech Lab have been seeking feedback from those who are visually impaired on how best to develop a system that can offer them greater ease of use.

How it works

So how does this work exactly? Well, what this new system is designed to do is provide little bumps over the various ports on these devices to aid with discerning what’s what without the need for sight. This means you will no longer have to feel for just the shape of the ports, but with this additional system, it should become easier to determine which port is which. As we can all imagine, the potential for what this could offer visually-impaired individuals across countless devices is massive.  

It’s no surprise when you consider the devices that Microsoft has been working on initially. Gaming is a huge part of the work that takes place at the Inclusive Lab.

However, this system is something that everyone out there should be looking at considering what it offers. The objective is for the idea to grow even more and become even better because it is not meant to work alone but help improve ease of use. And ideally, it would be great to see this applied to various other types of devices so they benefit as well. 

Surface Also Making Changes

The teams working on the various Surface products have also had to look at their products and consider how they could improve accessibility. Unfortunately, the reality is that a lot of products have been previously developed without any consideration of the needs of those living with disabilities. 

For example, on older Surface devices you’ll find that F4 and mute shared a key and the only indicator for FN lock was a light. When you consider the needs of those without sight you can quickly spot how this would present challenges. When screen reader users were trying to close an app, they could inadvertently mute their PCs and thereby leave them cut off from their devices. 

Fortunately, teams working on Surface products are now developing systems that will enhance the ease of use for visually-impaired individuals. By sitting down with the blind, listening to their experiences, and hearing their suggestions, Microsoft can now come up with more inclusive tech solutions for their products. 

Going forward, starting with the Surface Laptop 3, you will see changes such as the separation of mute and F4. Additionally, FN lock is going to be made accessible via Windows Narrator and tactile bumps will be added to the F4 and F8 keys to simplify keyboard navigation. These wonderful improvements will be made to all Surface keyboards in the future as part of an ongoing effort to provide better inclusive technology. 

More is yet to come and discussions with the visually-impaired community have also uncovered the need for customizable tactile indicators. With this in mind, Microsoft has been able to develop the Surface Adaptive Kit. This is something that should enable the development of even better solutions by looking to overcome the limitations on hardware with enhanced software, better accessories, and more. 

Wrap Up

For far too long technology did not do enough to address the needs of the disability community. Plenty of individuals faced significant barriers when it came to using technology comfortably. As a giant in the tech industry, Microsoft could not ignore the responsibility. Hence, we have the Microsoft Inclusive Tech Lab. This facility is doing phenomenal work that aims to take down barriers and provide solutions that are accessible to all. And the great thing about all this is that this is not a place that simply comes up with solutions for the disability community but it has members of the community greatly involved in development. Undoubtedly, the work going on here will massively enhance technology inclusiveness going forward.

Top 10 reasons Why Windows 365 is a great choice

Windows 365 is a great choice for your business. As the world becomes more digital, it is important to have the right tools to stay productive and competitive. Subsequently, with this Windows solution, you can take your desktop anywhere you go, work from any device, and access your files and apps from anywhere with an internet connection.
Here are the top 10 reasons why Windows 365 is a game changer for businesses of all sizes:

To expand on each topic, simply click on the item.

Each topic will be released over the next couple of weeks, stay tuned for updates

  1. Secure and reliable: Windows 365 is built on top of the Azure platform, which provides top-notch security and reliability for your business. Additionally, your data is stored in the cloud and protected by Microsoft’s advanced security protocols, so rest assured knowing your information is safe.
  2. Scalable: Windows 365 allows you to scale up or down your computing power as your business grows or changes. Consequently, this means you can quickly add or remove users, adjust your storage capacity, and scale your resources according to your needs.
  3. Always up-to-date: With Windows 365, you will always have the latest version of Windows and Office applications. Moreover, this means you won’t have to worry about updates, patches, or upgrades. You’ll always have access to the latest features and improvements.
  4. Flexible pricing: Windows 365 offers flexible pricing options that allow you to pay only for what you need. You can select different plans based on the number of users, the amount of storage, and the computing power you need.
  5. Accessible from anywhere: With Windows 365, you can access your desktop and files from anywhere with an internet connection. For example, you can work from home, on the go, or from a remote location without any interruptions.
  6. Easy to set up: Setting up Windows 365 is easy and straightforward. You can quickly provision virtual machines, assign users, and set up policies and permissions. Additionally, you don’t need any special skills or knowledge to get started.
  7. Simplified management: Windows 365 offers a centralized management console that allows you to manage all your users, devices, and applications in one place. You can easily monitor performance, track usage, and enforce security policies.
  8. Collaborative: Windows 365 makes it easy for your team to collaborate and share files. You can set up shared folders, access permissions, and collaborative tools that allow your team to work together in real-time.
  9. Support for legacy applications: Windows 365 supports legacy applications that may not be compatible with modern operating systems. For example, you can continue using your existing applications without any compatibility issues.
  10. Green computing: By using Windows 365, you can significantly reduce your company’s carbon footprint and contribute to a greener planet. Since your desktop is in the cloud, you don’t need to have a physical machine running all the time. This can help reduce your energy consumption and lower your carbon emissions.


In conclusion, Windows 365 offers a secure, scalable, and flexible solution for businesses of all sizes. Moreover, it allows you to work from anywhere, collaborate with your team, and stay up-to-date with the latest technology. If you’re looking for a more effective way to streamline your business operations, improve your productivity, and reduce your costs, it’s definitely worth considering.

Check Autopilot Prerequisites – first update

Autopilot is an indispensable tool for managing and deploying Windows devices in the enterprise. Before deploying Autopilot, it is crucial to ensure that your environment meets the necessary prerequisites. This process can be time-consuming and prone to errors, which is why the Autopilot Prerequisite Checker has been introduced to automate the prerequisite checking process.

The Autopilot Prerequisite Checker is a PowerShell script that validates whether your environment meets the requirements for deploying Autopilot. The updated script now checks for the following prerequisites:

Tenant checks:

Check license requirements
Automatic Windows enrollment (MDM authority is set)
DNS records
Check user can join device to Azure AD
Check Enrollment Status Page
Check Windows Autopilot Deployment Profile
Check company branding

Device checks:

Windows OS version
Hardware hash uploaded to Intune
Check Windows Autopilot Deployment Profile assignment status
Updated with more devices check in version 1.0.1:
 - Windows InstallDate
 - Bios Version
 - Bios Status
 - Bios Serialnumber
 - OS Serialnumber
 - Hostname
 - Keyboardlayout
 - Timezone
 - TPM present
 - TPM Enabled
 - TPM ready

User checks:

User is licensed correctly

Network checks:

Required communication for Intune Autopilot is allowed
Updated with multiple in version 1.0.1 with more URLs

Using the script is a breeze. It can be run on any machine with PowerShell installed. Simply download the script, execute it, and wait for the results. The output will indicate whether your environment meets the necessary prerequisites for Autopilot.

Download the updated script 1.0.1

The advantages of using the updated script are numerous. It saves time by automating the prerequisite checking process, allowing you to concentrate on more crucial tasks. Additionally, it minimizes the risk of errors, ensuring that your Autopilot deployment is successful on the first attempt. Ultimately, it provides peace of mind by confirming that your environment meets the requirements for deploying Autopilot.

In summary, the Autopilot Prerequisite Checker is a robust script that simplifies the process of verifying the prerequisites for deploying Autopilot. Whether you are an IT administrator or a consultant, the Autopilot Prerequisite Checker is an essential tool for ensuring the success of your Autopilot deployment.

NOTE: THIS SCRIPT IS CONTINUALLY BEING IMPROVED – If you would like to suggest additional checks or improvements, feel free to reach out with your input.

Introducing a New Script to Check Autopilot Prerequisites

Autopilot is an essential tool for managing and deploying Windows devices in the enterprise. However, before deploying Autopilot, it’s important to ensure that your environment meets the necessary prerequisites. This can be a time-consuming and error-prone process, which is why we’re excited to introduce a new script that automates the prerequisite checking process.

The new script, called Autopilot Prerequisite Checker, is a PowerShell script that checks whether your environment meets the prerequisites for deploying Autopilot. The script checks for the following prerequisites:

Tenant checks:

  • Check license requirements
  • Automatic Windows enrollment (MDM authority is set)
  • DNS records
  • Check user can join device to Azure AD
  • Check Enrollment Status Page
  • Check Windows Autopilot Deployment Profile
  • Check company branding

Device checks:

  • Windows OS version
  • Hardware hash uploaded to Intune
  • Check Windows Autopilot Deployment Profile assignment status

User checks:

  • User is licensed correctly

Network checks:

  • Required communication for Intune Autopilot is allowed

The script is easy to use and can be run on any machine with PowerShell installed. Simply download the script, run it, and wait for the results. The script will output indicating whether your environment meets the necessary prerequisites for Autopilot.

Download the script

The benefits of using the script are numerous. First and foremost, it saves time by automating the prerequisite checking process, allowing you to focus on more important tasks. Second, it reduces the risk of errors, ensuring that your Autopilot deployment is successful the first time. Finally, it provides peace of mind by giving you the confidence that your environment meets the necessary requirements for deploying Autopilot.

In conclusion, Autopilot Prerequisite Checker is a powerful new script that simplifies the process of checking the prerequisites for deploying Autopilot. Whether you’re an IT administrator or a consultant, Autopilot Prerequisite Checker is an essential tool for ensuring the success of your Autopilot deployment.

NOTE: THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS – If would like me to add a check, just ping me the info 🙂

Encouraging Diversity & Inclusion Through Microsoft’s MVP Program

Diversity and inclusion have never been more critical in all facets of culture. That includes IT, technology experts, and the technological infrastructures at large. Even the technology itself needs to take diversity and inclusion into consideration.

Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional program recognizes some of the greatest evangelists of their products and services, and helpers of the community of users at large. MVPs are proven experts in their fields. They go above and beyond in this capacity, with a  willingness and passion to help those seeking to better understand the technologies they’re using. And they’re advancing diversity and inclusion efforts for companies.

Microsoft also recognizes the critical importance of diversity and inclusion. They have it as their mission to use their influence on the world to encourage positive change in the workplace and in communities everywhere. They are leveraging their demonstrated history as innovators to look at diversity and inclusion in new ways, so that companies of the future always hold it as one of their key values and act on it too.

There is also a connection between the MVP program and Microsoft’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Here, we’ll be looking at exactly what the MVP program is, what it offers, and how it connects to diversity and inclusion initiatives at large.

How did the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional program get its start?

In 1993, developer Calvin Hsia created a list of the “Most Verbose People,” ranking the most active users in a CompuServe technology support forum. This list exists in fun to recognize the most active users. And Hsia didn’t necessarily expect anything to come of it.

But because at the time Microsoft offered a great deal of technical support to CompuServe, they took notice of Calvin’s List and those offering support of their own volition. Noting the difference these champions of technology were making for the community, they saw it as an opportunity to recognize and acknowledge their contributions in a more formal capacity.

We can guess with a fair bit of certainty that Microsoft also saw this as an opportunity to identify and leverage a talent pool, of which they weren’t previously aware.

Speculation aside, Calvin’s List identified the first ever 34 Most Valuable Professionals. The MVPs were invited to the first-ever Orlando TechEd conference. There, they could be recognized for their efforts in supporting Microsoft customers and promoting Microsoft products.

The initial list of 34 MVPs, including Hsia, got letters from Microsoft indicating their status as MVPs. This was the official beginning of the MVP awards program. Hsia would eventually join Microsoft and was also honored at the 20th Anniversary MVP Global Summit as a vital supporter of the program.

How many people are in the MVP program?

There are currently over 4,000 MVPs across 90 countries and regions – United States, Australia, Indonesia, Germany, Netherlands, India, Japan, Croatia, China, Sri Lanka, Sweden, and many, many others. This makes for a perfect environment for diversity and inclusion efforts, too.

Microsoft’s website is home to “Find an MVP” and “MPV Reconnect” portals, addressed later in this article.

What is a Microsoft MVP?

A Microsoft Most Valuable Professional refers to a technology expert who is passionate about what they do and freely shares their knowledge and expertise with the community, something they do in a “pro bono” or voluntary capacity.

MVPs are always “plugged in,” staying on top of new technologies and trends.They also have a deep understanding of Microsoft products and services. Most importantly, they are always willing to help others, a quality that can only stem from a passion for community.

One does not become an MVP, however, without demonstrating expertise in a variety of ways. MVPs must also demonstrate efforts in helping others through multiple channels (we’ll be covering what this might look like in a moment).

How to become a Microsoft MVP

The process to becoming a Microsoft MVP remains somewhat mercurial. Or, it may be better to say, it remains intentionally vague. Microsoft obviously applies their own criteria to identifying and finding potentials. However, visibility is obviously a big factor. So one must be able to create a public track record of productive technical support to others.

In Microsoft’s own words: “Be an expert, do lots of what you love, and let us know!”

More than anything, Microsoft is looking for people with a track record of engaging and supporting the community independently and voluntarily over the course of 12 months. This is difficult to accomplish without staying up to date with Microsoft products and continually educating yourself. So, if you’re looking to improve diversity and inclusion within your workplace, start with education.

There are a variety of activities to improve your chances of MVP recognition. For example:

  • Contributing to blogs, podcasts, and books
  • Helping users on forums and social media
  • Participating in user groups
  • Attending conferences and giving speeches
  • Building open-source software

Becoming an MVP, however, you will likely need to engage in a variety of activities. Focusing in one area often isn’t enough.

If you’re wondering where to put your energy and focus as a potential MVP, it would be good to know that Microsoft prioritizes the following award categories (this is where to put your focus):

  • Microsoft Azure
  • Windows development
  • M365 development
  • Developer technologies
  • Data platform
  • AI
  • Internet of Things
  • Cloud & datacenter management
  • Enterprise mobility
  • Windows & devices for IT
  • M365 apps & services
  • Business applications
  • Security
  • Mixed reality

However, there is a formal, defined process to getting on the map. To become an MVP, one must also receive a nomination referral by a Microsoft Full Time Employee (FTE) or Microsoft MVP. Having the right connections does make a difference.

How does The MVP program benefit IT Professionals?

People love recognition for their efforts. Of that there is little doubt!

Recognition as a Microsoft MVP can have a dramatic impact on one’s career. For example, employer, potential employer, and peer perceptions and reputations matter. But there’s so much more to it than perceptions alone. Being recognized as a cut above is just the tip of the iceberg.

IT professionals also benefit from:

  • Early access to Microsoft products.
  • Access to product teams.
  • Access to the Global MVP Summit.
  • Relationship with local Microsoft teams.
  • An executive recognition letter.
  • Visual Studio technical subscription.
  • An Office 365 subscription.

And these benefits continue to see improvements and augmentations by Microsoft, as they continue to look to the future of the MVP program.

And while these may be some of the “direct” benefits of becoming an MVP, MVPs enjoy a variety of other intangible and leveraged benefits we’ll be looking at momentarily. These include diversity and inclusion initiative advantages.

Find an MVP

Microsoft’s website features a Find an MVP portal where you can see:

  • The MVP’s picture
  • The MVP’s name
  • Their award category
  • Their country or region

If you know who you’re looking for, you can filter by keyword, award category, and country or region. You can also sort the entire list by award category, last name, first name, and country or region.

Additionally, you can learn more about each individual by clicking on their names. The amount of information on each MVP varies. But here are some of the tidbits you can expect to find on the Microsoft website:

  • Name
  • Country or region
  • Job title
  • Award category
  • The first year they achieved MVP
  • Number of MVP awards
  • Language(s) they speak
  • Certifications they’ve earned
  • Social media links
  • Biography
  • A timeline of recent activities

Anyone looking to reach out to a specific MVP for comment can learn something about them first by perusing this portal.

This portal also has a positive impact on the career of the MVPs as it gives them more visibility overall.

MVP Reconnect

There is a place for former MVPs as well. And it’s called the MVP Reconnect program. As with the Find An MVP function we just explored, you can search a database of more than 3,600 former MVPs who remain part of the greater MVP community using the MVP Reconnect portal.

What does it look like to be a Microsoft MVP?

Becoming an MVP takes commitment and hard work. But achieving this status opens the doors to valuable experiences, lucrative opportunities, support and collaboration, and a great deal more.

These are some of the ways MVPs benefit from the program and what their experiences are like:

  • MVPs are often the latest to hear about new developments in Microsoft. They also get to offer input and feedback on existing or new products. And if they have a stable of their own clients who are using Microsoft products, MVPs can offer timely, valuable, and specific guidance to them.
  • Some MVPs enjoy networking, sharing ideas, and collaborating with other MVPs. This should not come as a surprise, since MVPs have the answers to just about any question one might have about Microsoft products.
  • Being an MVP opens the door to new opportunities. The MVP program has a strong reputation. And anyone associated with it experiences a boost in their careers. Opportunities that may not have otherwise been available to them become available.
  • MVPs get to be on the cutting edge. The public isn’t privy to the latest developments at Microsoft, especially those not publicly announced. This gives MVPs the opportunity to build their awareness around new product features and incorporate them into their workflow.
  • Relocation matters. Some MVPs seek to establish themselves in new regions or communities. And with assistance from the MVP community, are able to find new jobs, homes, and more.
  • Getting answers quickly. In the MVP program, you have unprecedented access to like minded professionals with a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge in their respective fields. MVPs get access to other MVPs, who can offer guidance.
  • Access to a larger community. Besides the current roster of MVPs, Microsoft also has the MVP Reconnect program, which gives way to the greater MVP community, consisting of over 3,600 members.

Wasn’t The MVP program canceled?

Microsoft ostensibly canceled the MVP program on October 22, 1999. There are speculations and different reasons circulating, too. At the time, AOL newsgroup leaders sued AOL because they felt they should have been paid for their work. And the cancellation of the MVP program may have been Microsoft’s response to this backlash for independent, unpaid help.

But it seems people felt differently about the MVP program, as there was an outpouring of support for it. Many emails were even sent directly to Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. And the program was reinstated only three days later.

Having made the decision to keep the awards program, Microsoft then worked out the finer details and logistics of the program. This increased levels of success in the ensuing years.

Microsoft periodically evaluates the MVP program and considers what it might have in store for the future. Most new developments, however, center on additional benefits for MVPs.

How can MVPs support diversity and inclusion?

There are both obvious and less obvious ways MVPs can support (or are already supporting) diversity and inclusion.

Consider this broad overview of the many ways MVPs can (or already do) promote diversity and inclusion.

The MVP program already represents a very diverse group of people from across the globe

IT talent exists everywhere. Whether it’s Japan or Argentina, there are highly-skilled individuals within their roles. They enjoy their work and are passionate about helping the users who are in need of assistance.

While it may be too “obvious” a thing to say, the MVP program already represents diversity and inclusion in many ways. Whether male, female, young, old, or otherwise, there are established experts representing every possible demographic and ethnicity imaginable.

Promoting the MVP program promotes diversity and inclusion of its own accord, and it can have a very positive impact on companies everywhere, who will need to hold diversity and inclusion as a key tenant of their operations moving forward.

MVPs can use their status as influencers to share about diversity and inclusion

MVPs don’t simply enjoy recognition from Microsoft. They earn recognition within the communities they support. As they answer questions and solve problems for others, their faces earn additional respect. They experience increased recognition and appreciated for their efforts. Additionally, their participation in a community elevates them to influencer status.

Their influence represents an opportunity to create conversations around diversity and inclusion and broach the subject in a considerate, congruent, and tactful way. They can share meaningfully about their own experiences. And they share what diversity and inclusion means to them and why they value it.

MVPs have a built in platform already. They’ve been serving the community and have gained the favor of others by being of service to them. This gives them the platform they need to speak to matters of greater importance.

MVPs make Microsoft products more accessible to anyone

MVPs may be influential in their own right. This platform isn’t to be abused or disrespected. Instead, it should be a primary tool in affecting people positively in a variety of ways.

One of the very practical ways an MVP can promote diversity and inclusion is by doing what they already do best – helping a variety of people in different regions, even underrepresented people, better understand and utilize Microsoft products.

People can connect through technology. Technology is also empowering. People who may not have found a way to bring their projects to fruition may discover new approaches through technology. People who may not know what their passion is can find a new passion in software. And people who may have found it hard to find a job in the past may be able to find new work by becoming IT professionals themselves.

MVPs can empower a variety of people through their ongoing, tireless support work.

MVPs can share relevant issues with their communities

Whether it’s blog subscribers, a social media following, a forum or message board, email list, some combination thereof, or otherwise, MVPs are already in the know with their various communities. They’ve demonstrated their passion for their work and their willingness to add value to others.

Again, being mindful of when and where to share is critical to one’s success, but as relevant issues arise, MVPs can share these with their communities and open them to discussion. Usually, it’s about promoting more conversations. And by staying current with the issues, MVPs can bring a lot of value to the conversations as they unfold.

MVPs Encouraged to participate in community initiatives & speak at events

To become an MVP, an IT professional must support the community at large. These opportunities only grow as they are awarded and recognized for their efforts, and MVPs are often invited to speak at events too.

Every community initiative and speaking engagement represents an opportunity for an MVP to share on topics of value and interest. It would be unwise for an MVP to shoehorn a message about diversity and inclusion into a speech where it doesn’t belong, but in environments where it’s appropriate, it would be a good opportunity to promote diversity and inclusion.

Sometimes, the events themselves are held to promote diversity and inclusion, in which case the angle is baked into the initiative.

MVPs can contribute their expertise to creating & developing products that can be used by anyone

MVPs have access to development teams and first looks at products. They’re also the first to learn about new changes and features. Additionally, they’re afforded the opportunity to give their input and feedback on Microsoft products.

MVPs can leverage this knowledge in helping Microsoft develop products that are inclusive to all. MVPs can offer input on issues development teams may not be present to, and help them course correct so that their products and services aren’t exclusive or offensive to specific people.

Conclusion About MVP and Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

The Microsoft MVP program represents a significant opportunity to promote diversity and inclusion through multiple channels. The program itself is made up of a variety of people from across different regions, different ethnicities, at different ages and different genders too.

Beyond that, though, MVPs have access to Microsoft, its teams, and its projects to an extent no one else has (save for Microsoft employees). This means they can help steer the direction of projects and ensure everyone is included.

Thanks to their deep working knowledge of Microsoft products and services, MVPs can also impart their knowledge to underrepresented minorities and empower them with new skills, opportunities, careers, and more.

MVPs can also speak directly to their own following and communities, touching on relevant, current subjects as appropriate.

Finally, MVPs also take part in community initiatives and are invited to speak at various events. Some of these events represent good opportunities for them to speak out about relevant issues, especially if they have specific experiences to relay. It has never been more critical for companies to evaluate how people can connect through technology, and how this can encourage inclusion and diversity more broadly.

Azure Virtual Desktop’s Latest Capabilities

Using virtual desktop services enables you to have secure access to work applications and other organizational resources from remote locations. This is something that vastly increases your capabilities beyond the traditional desktop in the office. Microsoft offers Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) as a desktop and app virtualization service that runs on the cloud.

And as the work environment consistently evolves, desktop virtualization services are becoming an integral part of the way that organizations operate. It can make it easier to have employees working remotely without worrying about the security of your network.

Unlike in the past when running a virtual desktop environment would have been an extremely complex and expensive undertaking, AVD simplifies the process and also makes it affordable. Additionally, you can expect guaranteed, regular updates and new capabilities that continuously improve the service.

Azure Virtual Desktop main features

Azure Virtual Desktop comes with a lot of capabilities, designed to optimize the use of virtual desktops. By using this service, you can have an environment that perfectly meets the needs of your organization, is scalable when necessary, and is flexible. Below are the key capabilities that you will benefit from:

  • You can create a full desktop virtualization environment in your Azure subscription. And you can do so without having to run any gateway servers.
  • You can publish host pools as you need so that you can adequately accommodate your various workloads.
  • Allows you to have your own image for production workloads or test from the Azure Gallery.
  • The availability of pooled, multi-session resources is something that will help you to lower your costs. You can see this even more with the new Windows 10 and Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session capability that will enable you to cut down on the number of virtual machines as well as the operating system overhead costs without having to make compromises about the resources that your users have. (This capability is exclusive to Azure Virtual Desktop and Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) role on Windows Server).
  • Users can get individual ownership through personal (persistent) desktops.
  • You can manage costs further by leveraging autoscale to handle the automatic increasing or decreasing of capacity and this can be based on time of day, specific days of the week, or changes in demand.

For the deployment and management of virtual desktops:

  • You can do it through the Azure portal, Azure CLI, PowerShell and REST API for the configuration of host pools, the creation of app groups, the assignment of users, and the publishing of resources.
  • From a single host pool, it’s possible to publish full desktop or individual remote apps. You can also create individual app groups for different sets of users, and you could even cut down on the number of images by assigning users to multiple app groups.
  • You can gather diagnostics that will help you understand the various configuration or user errors by taking advantage of the built-in delegated access when assigning roles.
  • Troubleshooting errors is easier when using the new Diagnostics service.
  • The infrastructure will not require any managing, only the image and virtual machines will. Unlike with other Remote Desktop Services, you won’t have to personally manage the Remote Desktop roles. You only need to manage the virtual machines in your Azure subscription.

Assigning and connecting users to your virtual desktops is also something you can do:

  • Once assigned, users will be able to launch any Azure Virtual Desktop client to connect to their published Windows desktops and applications. Conveniently, you can use any device to connect and you can do so through the native applications on your device or you could use the Azure Virtual Desktop HTML5 web client.
  • Opening any inbound ports is not necessary because you can securely establish users through reverse connections to the service.

New multi-session capabilities

The features I’ve gone over above are key in delivering a virtualization experience that eliminates the complexities of traditional virtual desktop solutions. However, Microsoft is adding to those capabilities to give users an even better Windows experience by introducing Azure Virtual Desktop multi-session with Microsoft Intune.

With this addition, you’ll now be able to use Microsoft Intune to manage Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session remote desktops in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center the same way as you would for your regular shared Windows 10/11 client device.

Consequently, you can now manage these virtual machines using either device-based configurations meant for devices or user-based configurations meant for users. Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session is a new Remote Desktop Session Host and it is exclusive to AVD on Azure. It has some very attractive features:

  • You can have several concurrent user sessions.
  • It offers users a familiar Windows 10 or Windows 11 experience.
  • It delivers great convenience by allowing you to use existing per-user Microsoft 365 licensing.  

Microsoft has introduced user configuration in Microsoft Intune for Windows 11 multi-session VMs and this will mean that:

  • You’ll be able to use the Settings catalog for the configuration of user scope policies and then assign them to groups of users. To simplify this, there is a search bar that you can use to locate all the configurations with scope set to “user”.
  • You can configure user certificates and then assign them to users.
  • You’ll also be able to configure PowerShell scripts. These are installable in the user context and then assigned to users.


  • For Windows 10 multi-session, you need to be running version 1903 or later, or you should be running Windows 11 multi-session.
  • Your Azure Virtual Desktop agent needs to be version 1.0.2944.1400 or later.
  • You need to have the right Azure Virtual Desktop and Microsoft Intune license if the user is benefitting whether directly or not from the Microsoft Intune service. This includes access to the Intune service through a Microsoft API.
  • You’ll need to set up the VMs as remote desktops in pooled host pools. And deployment is through Azure Resource manager.
  • The VMs should also be Hybrid Azure AD-joined, as well as enrolled in Microsoft Intune via the methods below:
  • Configuration done with Active Directory group policy and then set to use Device credentials. Also, be sure to set credentials to enroll devices that are Hybrid Azure AD-joined automatically.
  • Configuration Manager co-management.
  • In addition, the VMs should also be Azure AD-joined and enrolled in Microsoft Intune by enabling Enroll the VM with Intune in the Azure portal.

You’ll need to remember that Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session VMs are essentially different editions of the OS. Therefore, you can expect some Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise configurations that aren’t supported for this edition. However, using Intune won’t interfere with AVD management of that VM nor does it depend on it.

Create the configuration profile

The Settings catalog in the MEM admin center is what you are going to have to use for configuring the configuration policies for Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session VMs. Additionally, the following device configuration profile templates receive support for the Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session VMs:

  • Trusted certificate – when targeting devices, it’s Device (machine) and when targeting users, it’s User.
  • SCEP certificate – when targeting devices, it’s Device (machine) and when targeting users, it’s User.
  • PKCS certificate – when targeting devices, it’s Device (machine) and when targeting users, it’s User.
  • VPN – Device Tunnel only

Except for the template above, the rest of the existing device configuration profile templates won’t have support. Unsupported templates will not be delivered to multi-session devices. And they will appear as Not applicable in reports.

Also, you’ll need to set the workload slider for Resource Access Policies to Intune or Pilot Intune. This applies if you use co-management for Intune and Configuration Manager. This is a necessary step that will enable Windows 10 and Windows 11 clients to begin the process of requesting the certificate.

Policy configuration

  • Navigate to the MEM admin center and sign in. Then, proceed to select Devices > Windows > Configuration profiles > Create Profile.
  • Next, you’ll want to choose Windows 10 and later for Platform.
  • For Profile type, you should select Settings catalog. However, you’ll need to select Templates as well as the name of the supported template if you’ll be deploying settings with a template.
  • Select Create.
  • Next, you’ll get to the Basics page where you need to give a Name and (optionally) Description > Next.
  • And when you get to the Configuration settings page, choose Add settings.
  • Next, we get to the Settings picker . Here you need to select Add filter and then pick the options below:
  • Key: OS edition
  • Operator: ==
  • Value: Enterprise multi-session
  • Select Apply. With this done, all the configuration profile categories that support Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session will now appear on the filtered list.
  • You can now choose the categories that you want from this filtered list.
  • Every category you select will require you to choose the settings. These settings will apply to your new configuration profile.
  • In addition, you need to pick the value that you want for this configuration profile for each of your chosen settings.
  • After you’ve finished adding all the settings you want, select Next.
  • When you get to the Assignments page, you have to select the Azure AD groups that have the devices to which you want this profile assigned > Next.
  • Additionally, on the Scope tags, you have the option to add the scope tags you want > Next.
  • With all the above configured, you’ll then go to the Review + create page and select Create to create the profile.

Administrative templates

Administrative Templates for Windows 10 or Windows 11 are supported for Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session through the Settings catalog. Addtionally, there are some limitations worth noting.

  • There are certain policies not available in the Settings catalog. However, ADMX-backed policies do have support.
  • ADMX-ingested policies also have support. And this includes the settings for Office and Microsoft Edge that are available in the administrative template files of both Office and Microsoft Edge. It’s also important to note that not all ADMX-ingested settings are applicable to Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session. You can view the complete list of ADMX-ingested policy categories in the Win32 and Desktop Bridge app policy configuration.
  • At the time of writing, ADMX-ingested policies are supported for user targeting, only on Windows 11.

Compliance and Conditional access with Azure Virtual Desktop

Protecting your Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session VMs will be of great importance to everyone. And to secure these VMs, you can go to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center. There, you can configure the appropriate compliance as well as Conditional Access policies. Below is the list of compliance policies, supported on Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session VMs:

  • Minimum OS version
  • Maximum OS version
  • Valid operating system builds
  • Simple passwords
  • Password type
  • Minimum password length
  • Password Complexity
  • Password expiration (days)
  • Number of previous passwords to prevent reuse
  • Microsoft Defender Antimalware
  • Microsoft Defender Antimalware security intelligence up-to-date
  • Firewall
  • Antivirus
  • Antispyware
  • Real-time protection
  • Microsoft Defender Antimalware minimum version
  • Defender ATP Risk score

These are the only policies you can use. And those not on this list will not be applicable.

Endpoint security

Without a doubt, endpoint security is one of the greatest concerns for most organizations today. Cyberattacks are growing in number and sophistication meaning that endpoints can easily become the weak point in your network. For multi-session VMs, you’ll have the ability to configure profiles under Endpoint security by choosing Platform Windows 10, Windows 11, and Windows Server. Any Platform that you will find unavailable will be for a profile that does not have support on multi-session VMs.

Deployment of applications

Having access to the applications that you need is essential to maintaining productivity and working efficiently. So naturally, I would want to know whether Windows 10 or Windows 11 apps will work for multi-session. Fortunately, all Windows 10 or Windows 11 apps are deployable to Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session. However, it does come with certain limitations:

  • You should install the configuration of the apps within the system/device context. And aim to target specific devices. Additionally, web apps won’t apply to multi-session VMs because of how by default they always apply in the user context.
  • The next requirement involves the configuration of all the apps. They must indicate Required or Uninstall app assignment intent. As far as the Available apps deployment intent goes, it’s not going to have support on multi-session VMs.       
  • For any Win32 apps with configuration to install in the system context, and have dependencies relationships on any apps configured, to install in the user context, their installation is not possible. Instead, you’ll need to create a separate instance of the system context app if you intend to apply to a Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session VM. Alternatively, you must verify all the app dependencies are configured to install in the system context.
  • At present, there is no support in Microsoft Intune for MSIX app attach and Azure Virtual Desktop RemoteApp.

Script deployment

When it comes to script deployment, those configured to run in the system context, with assignment to devices, will have support on Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session.

To configure this, navigate to Script settings and turn the Run this script using the logged on credentials to No. On the other hand, scripts configured to run in the user context and with assignment to users, will have support on Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session. Similarly, you can configure this by going over to Script settings. But this time, turn the Run this script using the logged on credentials to Yes.

Windows Update for Business

Managing the Windows Update settings for quality (security,) updates for Windows 10, or Windows 11, Enterprise multi-session VMs uses the settings catalog. Finding the supported settings that are necessary is pretty straightforward. You’ll first need to configure a settings filter for Enterprise multi-session. After that, you can expand the Windows Update for Business category. See the settings you can find in the catalog below:

Remote actions

When it comes to Windows 10 or Windows 11 remote actions, there are several that will not be supported. As a result, they will appear grayed out in the UI as well as disabled in Graph for Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session VMs. These remote actions are as follows:

  • Autopilot reset
  • BitLocker key rotation
  • Fresh Start
  • Remote lock
  • Reset password
  • Wipe


If you decide to delete certain VMs, then you can do so. But the device records will still remain in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center. However, depending on the cleanup rules configured for the tenant, they will still automatically clean up.

Security baselines

Although security baselines are currently not available for Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session, it’s still a good idea to go over those available. Having done that, you can then go to the Settings catalog and configure the recommended policies and values. This is vitally important as Windows security baselines intend to reinforce security for users and devices.

Using security baselines means that you can leverage the best practices and recommendations for enhanced security. And even though these security baselines come as groups of pre-configured Windows settings, you get the option of customizing each baseline that you deploy to enforce only the settings and values needed.

This is particularly important because the vast majority of the time the default settings in the security baselines are very restrictive. So, it would be good practice to adapt the baselines to meet your needs so that they do not conflict with any of your other pre-existing settings or features.

Unsupported configurations

There are some additional configurations that are not supported on Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session VMs. Hopefully, this will change sooner rather than later. But currently Out of Box Experience (OOBE) enrollment isn’t available nor does it have support.

The unavailability of this option means that both Commercial OOBE and Windows Autopilot are not supported. And the same also applies to the Enrollment status page. Furthermore, as for the China Sovereign Cloud, Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session is not as yet supported.

Troubleshooting common issues

Enrollment IssuesDetail
Failure to enroll hybrid Azure AD-joined virtual machineNormally, auto-enrollment is set up to use user credentials. However, for Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session virtual machines, the enrollment requires using device credentials. You need to use an Azure Virtual Desktop agent that is version 2944.1400 or later. Another issue is having more than a single MDM provider, which isn’t supported. You’ll also have issues with Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session VMs configured outside of a host pool. This is because Microsoft Intune only supports VMs that are provisioned as part of a host pool. If your Azure Virtual Desktop host pool hasn’t been created through the Azure Resource Manager template, then that will present a problem. 
Failure to enroll Azure AD-joined virtual machineIt could be as simple as you using an Azure Virtual Desktop agent that is not updated. You should be using an agent that is version 2944.1400 or later.If your Azure Virtual Desktop host pool hasn’t been created through the Azure Resource Manager template then that will  present a problem. 

More about configuration

Configuration issuesDetail
Failure of Settings catalog policyStart by verifying whether the VM is enrolled using device credentials because at present enrollment with user credentials is not supported for Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session.  
Configuration policy didn’t applyWith the exception of Certificates, know that templates aren’t supported on Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session. Therefore, the creation of all policies must be done via the settings catalog.
Configuration policy reports as Not applicableIt’s not all policies that are applicable to Azure Virtual Desktop VMs.
When applying the filter for Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session edition, the Microsoft Edge/Microsoft Office ADMX policy is not showing upThe application of these settings is dependent on having those apps installed on the device, not on the Windows version or edition. In addition, the removal of filters applied in the settings picker may be necessary if you want to add these settings to your policy.  
App configured to install in system context didn’t applyStart by checking that the app doesn’t have a dependency or supersedence relationship on any of the apps configured to install in the user context. As of yet, Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session doesn’t support user context apps.
Update rings for Windows 10 and later policy didn’t applyAt the time of writing, Windows Update for Business policies aren’t yet supported.

Availability of FSLogix Profiles

Another exciting new feature recently announced, is the availing of FSLogix Profiles for Azure AD-joined VMs for hybrid users in Azure Virtual Desktop. You can make use of Azure AD Kerberos with Azure Files to access file shares from Azure AD-joined VMs. This means you can then use to store your FSLogix profile containers. This new feature is going to provide you with the following capabilities:

  • You can now configure Azure Files with Azure AD Kerberos by using only a single checkbox.
  • Azure AD-joined Session Hosts can now achieve configuration with Azure AD Kerberos.
  • You can leverage Azure AD Kerberos to store FSLogix profile containers in Azure Files shares.
  • Access permissions for hybrid users, managed in Active Directory are also configurable.
  • The network line-of-sight from the Session Host to the Domain Controller can now be removed.

Getting started with Azure Virtual Desktop

This new release will be available on Windows 10, Windows 11, and Windows Server 2022 session hosts. Before you proceed, you first need to check the requirements to configure Azure Files with Azure AD Kerberos authentication.

A network line-of-sight from the session host to the domain controller is not necessary for FSLogix profiles in Azure Virtual Desktop. It will still be a requirement for configuring the permissions on the Azure Files share.

Configure your Azure storage account and file share

You will need to follow the steps given below to store your FSLogix profiles on an Azure file share:

  1. Start by creating an Azure Storage account if you don’t already have one.
  2. Next, you go to your storage account and create an Azure Files share where you can store your FSLogix profiles.
  3. To enable access from Azure AD-joined VMs you need to enable Azure AD Kerberos authentication on Azure files.
  • For the configuration of the directory and file-level permissions you need to go to Configure the storage permissions for profile containers. And go through the recommended list of permissions for FSLogix profiles.
  • It’s possible for users to accidentally delete the user profile or access the personal information of different users. This is common if you do not put in place adequate directory-level permissions. Such mishaps are costly and need to be avoided by ensuring all users have the proper permissions.

Configure the session hosts

Configuring the session hosts is required for you to be able to access Azure file shares from an Azure AD-joined VM for FSLogix profiles. To do this, you can follow the steps below:

  1. You first need to enable the Azure AD Kerberos functionality and there are a few methods you can use to do this:
  2. Configure this Intune Policy CSP and apply it to the session host Kerberos/CloudKerberosTicketRetrievalEnabled.
  3. You can also configure the Group policy and use it for the session host: AdministrativeTemplates\System\Kerberos\Allow retrieving the Azure AD Kerberos Ticket Granting Ticket during logon
  4. Lastly, you can create the following registry value on the session host: reg add HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa\Kerberos\Parameters /vCloudKerberosTicketRetrievalEnabled /t REG_DWORD /d 1 
  • If you want to use Azure AD with a roaming profile solution such as FSLogix, then the credential keys in Credential Manager should be from the currently loading profile. Having it set up this way means that you’ll be able to load your profile on many different VMs. By simply running the command below, you can create a new registry value. This enables the setting: reg add HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\AzureADAccount /v SLoadCredKeyFromProfile /t REG_DWORD /d 1   

Configure FSLogix on the session host

  • Configuring a VM with FSLogix is possible by following a set of instructions whenever you configure a session host. You have several options available to make sure that the registry keys are set on all session hosts. These images can be set in an image or you could configure a group policy. See the steps for configuring FSLogix below:
  • If necessary, start by updating or installing FSLogix on your session host. In instances where you want to create the session host using the Azure Virtual Desktop service, you’ll need to have FSLogix already pre-installed.
  • To create the Enabled and VHDLocations registry values you should follow the instructions in Configure profile container registry settings. The value of VHDLocations should be set to: \\<Storage-account-name>\<file-share-name>

Test your deployment

The final step, after completing the necessary steps for the installation and configuration, is to test the deployment. This allows you to verify everything is working properly. You can do this by signing in with a user account with assignment to an application group on the host pool.

Before you sign in, make sure that the account that you are going to use has the necessary permission to use the file share. For any users that have previously signed in, you’ll find available existing local profiles that the service is going to use during the session.

If you don’t want to create a local profile, then you can create a new user account to use for your tests. Alternatively, you can enable the DeleteLocalProfileWhenVHDShouldApply setting by using the configuration methods that you can find in Tutorial: Configure profile container to redirect user profiles.         

With these steps complete and the user sign-in successful, you can go ahead and check the profile in Azure Files.


  • Navigate to the Azure portal and sign in with an administrative account.
  • Next, go to the sidebar and choose Storage accounts.
  • You’ll need to then select the storage account that you had configured for your session host pool.
  • Once again, go to the sidebar and this time choose File shares.
  • Find the file share that you configured to store the profiles and select it.
  • What you should now see depending on whether everything has been configured correctly is a directory with a name formatted in the following manner: <user SID>_<username>.   

In addition to testing your deployment, you may occasionally encounter issues with FSLogix products. Below is a table demonstrating some actions you can take, should you encounter challenges.


IssueActions you can take
Profile ContainerPerform a comparative analysis between the data from this documentation and the current values of Status, Reason, and Error. Identify non-zero codes by looking at the log files. Verify you’ve met all requirements. The FSLogix Profiles product can only work properly if this patch is installed for users of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. Additionally, check that the Enabled setting is set to 1. Check the ‘VHDLocations’ setting for a valid file system location. Check on the file server to see if the user has the necessary permissions to the VHD(X). Verify that the user is on the local FSLogix Profiles Include group rather than the Exclude groups there a pre-existing local profile for the user?
Office ContainerPerform a comparative analysis between the data from this documentation and the current values of Status, Reason, and Error. Check for non-zero codes being returned by looking at the log files. Check that you’ve met all requirements. Check that the Enabled setting is set to 1. Check the ‘VHDLocations’ setting for a valid file system location. Verify that the user is on the local FSLogix ODFC Include group rather than the Exclude group. You should expect to NOT see OneDrive icons when using Windows Server 2016 as this is intended. When FSLogix is virtualizing Outlook Search you should also expect to NOT see Outlook in the windows indexing options.
Application MaskingCheck that the rules have been moved to the Rules folder. Using sc query frxsvc and sc query frxdrv verify that the service and driver are running.  Check for non-zero codes being returned by looking at the logs. Verify in the assignment files that the user is included in the assignment: Open the rule in the rule editor. Next, click the manage assignments button. Check that the concerned user is on the list and that the rule applies. In cases where folders or files are hidden from an excluded user then check that the Apply Rules to System button is not clicked.
Java Version ControlVerify that rules are loading properly by checking the IE Plugin for errors. From Tools > Manage Add-ons, check that FSLogix Internet Explorer Plugin is installing and enabling. Also, check that the rules move to the Rules folder. Additionally, check that you’re using 32-bit Java. Ensure that the Service and Driver are running.

Wrap Up About Azure Virtual Desktop

Organizations are witnessing a rapid change in the work environment as well as the preferences of employees. And as the popularity of cloud-based solutions grows organizations are having to invest in technology that supports a hybrid working model. This has plenty of potential benefits for any organization. Also, these include employee satisfaction garnered from some now preferring to work from home when possible.

By leveraging Azure Virtual Desktop, you can get a secure and cost-effective solution that eliminates the complexities of legacy virtualization infrastructure. This means no more fretting over managing licensing, RDS gateways, load balancing, and more.

In addition to the already extensive list of capabilities, Microsoft is now introducing Azure Virtual Desktop multi-session with Microsoft Intune and FSLogix Profiles for Azure AD-joined VMs. These new capabilities are going to further enhance the user experience and potentially increase productivity. Users will get an improved experience that gives them the familiar Windows 10 or Windows 11 experience. Without a doubt, these new features will help your organization to have a more efficient hybrid environment.

Windows Autopilot to enroll hybrid Azure AD-joined error

I came across this issue where joining the on-premise Active Directory failed during Windows Autopilot.

The full error message from the event viewer of the machine where the Intune Connector is installed.

Intune Connector event viewer error:

RequestOfflineDomainJoinBlob_Failure: Failed to generate ODJ blob
RequestId: 9d1e4614-3217-4d7c-87ef-df7fceb648c9
DeviceId: 83c83fd7-10c8-49c8-9c15-8489ff126eed
DomainName: Mydomain.LOCAL
RetryCount: 0
ErrorDescription: Failed to call NetProvisionComputerAccount machineName=AutoP-PFv5HetaE
InstanceId: C07C1188-586C-44BD-93C1-F236A633DA9B
DiagnosticCode: 268435455
WinErrorCode: 8557
DiagnosticText: We are unable to complete your request because a server-side error occurred. Please try again. [Exception Message: “DiagnosticException: 0x0FFFFFFF. We are unable to complete your request because a server-side error occurred. Please try again.”] [Exception Message: “Failed to call NetProvisionComputerAccount machineName=AutoP-PFv5HetaE”]

The Intune Connector for your Active Directory creates Microsoft Autopilot-enrolled computers in the on-premises Active Directory domain. The computer that hosts the Intune Connector must have the rights to create the computer objects within the domain.

Microsoft Autopilot error details continued…

Follow the guide to delegate control to the computer account hosting the Intune Connector. It solved the issue in this case, as the rights was misconfigured.

  1. Open Active Directory Users and Computers (DSA.msc).
  2. Right-click the organizational unit to use to create hybrid Azure AD-joined computers > Delegate Control.The Delegate Control command.
  3. In the Delegation of Control wizard, select Next > Add > Object Types.
  4. In the Object Types pane, select the Computers > OK.The Object Types pane.
  5. In the Select Users, Computers, or Groups pane, in the Enter the object names to select box, enter the name of the computer where the Intune Connector is installed with Windows Autopilot.The Select Users, Computers, or Groups pane.
  6. Select Check Names to validate your entry > OK > Next.
  7. Select Create a custom task to delegate > Next.
  8. Select Only the following objects in the folder > Computer objects.
  9. Select Create selected objects in this folder and Delete selected objects in this folder.The Active Directory Object Type pane.
  10. Select Next.
  11. Under Permissions, select the Full Control check box. This action selects all the other options.The Permissions pane.
  12. Select Next > Finish.

Conclusion, Windows Autopilot

Review the full prerequisites:

Script to add a Windows 365 Cloud PC User – Add-CloudPCUser.ps1

Script prerequisites for Windows PowerShell:

1. A minimum Windows PowerShell version of ‘7.2’ is required to run this script. The script automatically checks for and installs module if needed.

2. Windows 365 Cloud PC Management PowerShell Module must be installed on local machine. The script automatically checks for and installs module if needed.

3. Microsoft Graph PowerShell Module must be installed on local machine. The script automatically checks for and installs module if needed.

4. An Azure AD user that has an admin consent permission, if needed, to approve the following permissions in Microsoft Graph application in Azure AD apps:

CloudPC.ReadWrite.All, DeviceManagementConfiguration.ReadWrite.All, DeviceManagementManagedDevices.ReadWrite.All, Directory.Read.All


Username to add to Windows 365 Cloud PC

.PARAMETER UsersListPath

CSV file path containing a list of users to add to Windows 365 Cloud PC. Sample file contents:

———- Windows PowerShell Continued



Azure AD group name to add users to


.\Add-CloudPCUser.ps1 -Username -Group IT -Verbose


.\Add-CloudPCUser.ps1 -UsersListPath c:\temp\users.csv -Group Sales -Verbose

Direct link: Add-CloudPCUser.ps1
Github –

Download all OneDrive files for a user using PowerShell

Powershell script to download a users OneDrive content.

New and improved: Download-OD4BAccount.ps1

.\Download-OD4BAccount.ps1 -Username -Destination "D:\OD4B" -ThreadCount 3 -Verbose

Script prerequisites:

1. Microsoft Graph PowerShell Module installed on local machine. The script automatically checks for and installs module if needed.

2. An Azure AD user that has an admin consent to approve the following permissions in Microsoft Graph application in Azure AD apps:
   Organization.Read.All, User.Read.All, Directory.Read.All

This was inspired by Adnan's script, which i have used on multiple occasions.
But when downloading very large OneDrive data structures, Multi-Threads seems to work faster and smoother.