MEMCM Technical Preview 2005 = Epic!

I always love testing out the new Technical Previews and I must say that this one is extremely impressive and all the features are in line with the times we live in now with Covid-19. The product team has once again outdone themselves in features that we need in this scenario. The features included in the preview is epic!

Where to start then? well let’s start with the new additions to Tenant attach CMPivot, Run Scripts, install Application and Timeline. Install application requires that you made the move to collections less deployment of apps using the approve feature. And it works great as you can see in the short video below.
Timeline will be really useful for troubleshooting a client and available from everywhere, i can troubleshoot a client from my iPad amazing.

Short video demoing the Tenant attach features in MEMCM 2005 TP

Let’s look at the timeline, we enable it in Client Settings.

Here is the complete list of activities that are recorded on the Timeline for a client – The client reports events to the timeline once per day but you can force it to refresh from the portal simply by selecting refresh, it will initiate a refresh from the client and not just the view.

VPN Boundary type is a new boundary type which is used to automatically determine that a client is connected using VPN! Looking at the questions in user groups, forums and reddit configuring boundaries for VPN has been asked a lot lately and this is perfect in time. You can only have one VPN Boundary type.

OS Deployment from the cloud, yes you read it right PXE and Boot media are now able to use Cloud DP/CMG to download all content needed during OSD. Imaging the possibilities! remote offices, just send then a USB drive no more deploying over the internal WAN, less DP’s less hazzle.
to test it out I have changed my Boundary Group to “Prefer cloud based sources over on-premise sources” ,added the CMG as site system, and enabled the client setting to “Allow access to cloud distribution point”

The result is an OSD running everything from the CMG.

OSD running from CMG

Taking a look at the SMSTS.log file it downloads the content from the CMG during OSD.

Improved Enable BitLocker steps in the Task Sequence are updated with a “Disk Encryption mode” one less .reg file to import during OSD great news!

Pre-provision BitLocker step
Enable BitLocker step

Community Hub, is also updated to allow more types of objects, for now only from Microsoft and not the community.

  • PowerShell Scripts
  • Reports
  • Task sequences
  • Applications
  • Configuration items

Report update failures to Microsoft, if and Configuration Manager update fails to install a new button will be displayed where you can report the upgrade errors directly to Microsoft = making the product even better for everyone!

There are more great additions that will save us time and make our life easier, like Notification for Azure AD app secret key expiration which I have ended up troubleshooting a couple of times already.
More features:

  • Remove command prompt during Windows 10 in-place upgrade
  • Improvements to the content library cleanup tool
  • Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise
  • Improvements to cloud management gateway cmdlets

Check out the whole documentation on Docs

Oh and even if nothing is noted in the docs, the remote control dialog with support for remote control over CMG/MP is back in the Technical Preview. It was first introduced in Technical Preview in 1906, let’s hope it makes it this time!

And if you have the time install the Technical Preview and provide feedback to Microsoft so we can make the product even better!

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