In a suprise announcement the New York Times reports that Cortana will integrate with Amazon's Alexa.  The two companies have begun working more closely in competition with Google search and its AI, the echo currently uses Microsoft's Bing for its search queries.  The new integration is set to launch 'Later this Year' and be added to Windows 10.


Initial examples seem to use commands such as "Cortana, open Alexa"  from which you can order from Amazon and reach other third party echo applications.  As a current Alexa and Windows 10 user I welcome the integration, what are your initial thoughts?


More details can be found here: The New York Times


I recieved a question from a client getting email alerts from Azure AD pertaining to 'Accounts at Risk'.  

This email comes from Microsoft Azure AD Identity Protection This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Azure AD Identity Protection is an AD Premium P2 feature that will detect potential vulnerablilities affecting your organizations identities such as leaked credentials or suspicious geographic logins. 


Here are the steps to edit who recieves these alerts:

 1. Login to

 2. Click More Services and type id.... Select Azure AD Identity Protection.



Have seen a few instances where the Skype for Business Plug-in will not run or start when you start Outlook.  This will result in not seeing the New Skype Meeting selection from your Outlook Calendar.




There are a few things to check to get this Plug-in working correctly:

1.  Goto File > Options > Add-ins and look at the state of the Skype Meeting Add-in for Microsoft Office 2016.

Recieved Error (23343) in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2016 (SCVMM) when creating a new Virtual Machine. The process would get to about 85% and then freeze for 60 minutes and give the following error message.

Error (23343)

The shut down action on virtual machine 'TESTVM1' timed out in host after waiting for 60 minutes.  This could be due to some ongoing operating system updates.




To fix the issue i had to create a new Guest Operating Sytem Profile in the VMM 2016 Library.  I then updated the VM template to use this and I could once again create new Virtual Machines.


In my experience here I was using Windows Server 2016 as the VMM server and new VM being created.


This blog will walk you through utilizing Microsoft System Center to automate a process for keeping your Windows Server 2016 VHDX Image patched indefinitely.  You will no longer have to deploy a VM to do an image and recapture or the long process of running Windows Updates after a fresh VMM deployment. 

For this process, I am assuming you already have System Center Configuration Manager installed.  I also am assuming you have a syspreped VHD/VHDX file you use for Virtual Machine Manager or Hyper-V deployments.


The basic steps are:

1.      Setup an SCCM Automatic Deployment Rule.

2.      Customize the Powershell Script for your environment.

3.      Setup Automation.