Boot to Kiosk Mode: Turn Your Computers into Single Purpose Devices using the Recast tools

How often are system administrators asked to provision computer labs or groups of computers for single use type scenarios such as testing terminals, kiosks or library machines? Or make a lab available for outside groups to use a single application? This is typically accomplished by a mess of specific user credentials and group policy settings which never fully accomplish the goal and leave a lot to be desired. The Lab Manager plugin for Recast Right Click Tools Enterprise helps you use Microsoft ConfigMgr 2012 to better manage these scenarios and many more.

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Deploying the Now Micro Right Click Tools with ConfigMgr

Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) console extensions have been a widely used tool for administrators to augment the functionality provided by ConfigMgr.  The Now Micro Right Click Tools (Right Click Tools) allow administrators to interact with their ConfigMgr clients in real time, enabling them to shortcut some of the wait times associated with an asynchronous client-based architecture.  This blog post will cover how to automate the deployment of the Now Micro Right Click Tools using the ConfigMgr application model.  The Right Click Tools require the .Net Framework 4.5 or higher, Windows Management Framework 3 or higher, and the Configuration Manager console as prerequisites.  See the linked blog posts for more information on how to create silent installations for these applications.

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Deploying the ConfigMgr Console as a ConfigMgr Application

The Configuration Manager Console is the primary tool used to manage an organization’s Configuration Manager environment. Currently, when using the ConsoleSetup.exe file to install the Configuration Manager Console silently, the R2 RTM version of the console is installed. Also, the Report Viewer is left out of the install. Now Micro’s team of expert engineers presents the process for creating a Configuration Manager application that will silently install the console and the report viewer while also applying the latest cumulative update.

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Deploying Windows Management Framework 4.0 with ConfigMgr

The Windows Management Framework 4.0 is an update for devices running Windows 7 SP1, Windows Embedded 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, and Windows Server 2012. It allows these operating systems to gain some of the new improvements and functionality available in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

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Deploying .NET Framework 4.5.2 as a ConfigMgr Application

Deploying .NET Framework 4.5.2 as a Package/Program has always been a possibility, and now it can even be deployed with Software Update Management as a feature pack. But, since the .NET Framework’s only purpose is to support other applications, it makes a lot of sense to be able to deploy it using the Application Model in Configuration Manager. This means the .NET Framework can be defined as a prerequisite for another application. Having .NET Framework 4.5.2 ready to go as an application means any requirement can be covered .NET Framework 4 or above.

Installer
The offline installer can be downloaded here from Microsoft.

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Be Proactive in 2015: Three Significant Opportunities for Success or Failure

The three biggest IT challenges for 2015 are all things you can start today, so there’s no excuse when you get asked about them a year for now.

We know the pace of change is accelerating, and looking ahead at 2015 there is reason to expect that to stop.  As we start a new year we get an excellent opportunity to leave behind the business practices that have not served us well. It is time to seriously work to cut the boat anchors slowing us down and try to build a fast and capable ship that our customers are proud to be associated with. Sooner or later, the organizations whose IT shops look like junkers from last century will decide to bypass them entirely if they can’t provide useful services or respond to their changing business needs. IT will no longer be able get away being a boat anchor on the business.

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Off Boarding and Linking User Identities From Office 365

During a recent Microsoft Office 365 migration, Now Micro’s Cloud Sherpa, Micah Linehan, encountered a tenancy migration where he had to work through reinstalling Exchange on premise. In this particular case, a vase majority of users had previously been created without Exchange. As Micah moved forward and installed Exchanges, the users were directory synchronized; however, a remote user in Exchange was not. He put together the following recommendations and best practices for working through these issues, as he found there were few technical resources (articles, blogs, etc.) out there. Hopefully this post will alleviate some of the confusion and ease any off boarding or tenancy conversion issues within Office 365.

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Now Micro Named to CRN’s 2014 Fast Growth 150 List

Now Micro Named to CRN’s 2014 Fast Growth 150 List of technology integrators with exceptional growth between 2011 and 2013.

Now Micro has been named to this year’s Fast Growth 150 list by CRN. The Fast Growth 150 list recognizes those solution providers that have been the fastest growing over a two-year period based on gross revenue from calendar year 2011 to 2013. These solution providers have demonstrated exceptional business finesse in order to thrive despite a turbulent IT economy.

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Work Smarter, Not Harder Webinar Q&A

During the last Now Micro and Secunia sponsored webinar, our hosts, Nash Pherson and Ryan Ephgrave, got so many requests during their recent webinar, that we decided to put the most popular questions together into one post to share with everyone!

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Delivering a Secure, Customized Experience with Microsoft Windows Embedded

Now Micro’s solutions leveraging Microsoft Windows Embedded deliver a customized user experience, ensure a secure device, and decrease costs.

Microsoft Windows Embedded on Now Micro hardware has several key advantages over traditional methods of delivering single-purpose devices, such as kiosks, digital signs, tablets, POS terminals, or customer-facing computing devices.

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