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Microsoft

Update 2101 for the Technical Preview Branch of Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager has been released. You can now download console extensions from the Community hub and have it applied to all consoles connected to a hierarchy. This improvement allows you to start managing the approval and installation of console extensions used in your environment.

 

A new node has been added to the Configuration Manager console. The Console Extensions node is located under Administration > Overview > Updates and Servicing. Console extensions downloaded from the community hub will be located here. Actions for console extensions are grouped in the ribbon and the right-click menu.

 

Console extensions nodeConsole extensions node

Actions include:

  • Approve Installation: Approves the console extension for installation across all sites. An extension must be approved before notifications are enabled.
  • Revoke Approval:
    • Revokes the ability to install the extension from the Console Extensions node.
    • Notifies then uninstalls existing instances of the extension across the hierarchy at the next launch of a locally installed console.
    • Allows for reapproval of the extension at a later date.
  • Enable Notifications: Upon next launch of the console, notifies users within the security scope that the extension can be installed.
  • Disable Notifications: Disables the console notification messages for the extension. Users within the security scope can still install approved extensions from the Console Extensions node.
  • Delete:
    • Revokes the ability to install the extension from the Console Extensions node.
    • Notifies then uninstalls existing instances of the extension across the hierarchy at the next launch of a locally installed console.
    • Removes the extension from the Console Extensions node so it can't be reapproved later.
  • Set Security Scopes: Set the security scopes to secure the object and limit access.
  • Install: Installs the selected extension for the current local console
  • Uninstall: Uninstalls the selected extension from the current local console

NOTE: In this technical preview, only Right Click Tools (Community Edition) from Recast Software is available for download and installation. 

Learn more about managing console extensions.

 

This preview release also includes:

 

Deploy a feature update with a task sequence - Based on your UserVoice feedback, you can now upgrade a client's Windows OS by using a feature update deployed with a task sequence. This integration combines the simplicity of Windows servicing with the flexibility of task sequences. Servicing uses a single ESD file that you synchronize through the software update point. This process simplifies the need to manually get, import, and maintain the Windows image content used with a standard task sequence to upgrade Windows. The size of the ESD file is generally smaller than the WIM image file.

 

Tenant Attach: Required application deployments display in Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center - Applications targeted to a device or a user with a required deadline will now show in the Applications view for a tenant attached device in Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center. This improvement allows you to review when application installations are expected to occur on a device.

 

Client setting for displaying Software Center custom tabs - Technical preview version 2012 included an improved user experience and security with Software Center custom tabs. It required that you manually deploy the Microsoft Edge WebView2 browser control. Starting in this release, you can now configure a client setting to use the WebView2 control.

 

Simplified CMPivot permissions requirements - We've simplified the CMPivot permissions requirements. The following changes have been made:

  • CMPivot no longer requires SMS Scripts read permission
    • The administration service still requires this permission when falling back to use the SMS Provider when a 503 (Service Unavailable) error is received, as seen in the CMPivot.log
  • The default scope permission isn’t required.

 

Allow exclusion of organizational units (OU) from Active Directory User Discovery - You can now exclude OUs from Active Directory User Discovery.

 

Changes to Support Center - Support Center is now split into the following tools:

  • Support Center Client Data Collector: Collects data from a device to view in the Support Center Viewer. This separate tool encompasses the existing Support Center action to Collect selected data.
  • Support Center Client Tools: The other Support Center troubleshooting functionality, except for Collect selected data.

 

Prerequisite rule for deprecated Azure Monitor connector - We continue to see broad adoption of native Azure Monitor log query groups as customers shift more of their workloads to the cloud. Because of this reason, starting in November 2020, the Configuration Manager feature to synchronize collections to Azure Monitor is deprecated. When you update to this release, a new prerequisite check warns about the presence of the Log Analytics connector for Azure Monitor.  This connector is deprecated and will be removed from the product in a future release. At that time, this check will be an error that blocks upgrade.

 

Manage aged distribution point messages - In some environments, a small number of error status messages for a distribution point can cause the entire server status to show an error state. This behavior could be due to a known issue when failing to distribute content. To help you better manage the state of distribution points, this release includes the following improvements:

  • Delete a specific distribution point status message.
  • Delete aged status messages for a specific distribution point.
  • Configure a site maintenance task to Delete Aged Distribution Point Messages.

 

Encryption algorithm to capture and restore user state - The task sequence steps to Capture User State and Restore User State always encrypt the USMT state store. Previously, Configuration Manager configured USMT to use the 3DES algorithm. Starting in this release, both steps now use the highest supported encryption algorithm, AES 256.

 

PowerShell release notes preview - These release notes summarize changes to the Configuration Manager PowerShell cmdlets in technical preview version 2101.

 

Update 2101 for Technical Preview Branch is available in the Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager Technical Preview console. For new installations, the 2010 baseline version of Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager Technical Preview Branch is available on the Microsoft Evaluation Center. Technical Preview Branch releases give you an opportunity to try out new Configuration Manager features in a test environment before they are made generally available.

 

We would love to hear your thoughts about the latest Technical Preview!  Send us Feedback about product issues directly from the console and use our UserVoice page for ideas about new features.

 

Thanks,

The Configuration Manager team

 

Configuration Manager Resources:

Documentation for Configuration Manager Technical Previews

Try the Configuration Manager Technical Preview Branch

Documentation for Configuration Manager

Microsoft Endpoint Manager announcement

Microsoft Endpoint Manager vision statement

Configuration Manager Forums

Configuration Manager Support