Next step in gaming technology: Cloud Streaming

About two years ago when I got Steam In-Home Streaming working, something clicked in my head. Oh my god, this is the next step in gaming! I was using my 2014 Macbook, which was unable to handle modern games at even the most basic settings, to play games like Bioshock Infinite and Dota 2 at max settings. It immediately clicked to me back then: I knew that eventually gamers, even PC gamers, would no longer build their own machines. Exactly like how enterprises migrate their on-premise infrastructures to cloud hosting solutions, I envisioned gamers doing the same. What is a gaming PC (or console!) other than a type of infrastructure?

Now in 2018, it looks like that vision is fast approaching. There are companies that are taking gaming to the next level: cloud streaming. Google is developing Project Stream, Microsoft is working on Project xCloud, and third party companies like Vortex are already selling subscription packages. The way this technology works is very similar to how users watch videos on Youtube. There is a server, hosted by a company, that users consume media from. However in this case, that server has a video game installed, and is streaming a “video” of that game. The user in turn streams commands back to the server and, with the low latency of high speed internet today, is able to have a high quality gaming experience.

In my opinion this technology will drastically change the gaming industry in the near future. Why pay $2,000 for a high end PC that will become obsolete in 5 years when you can just pay a monthly subscription for a service that will continuously grow and improve? Why buy a $300 console when you can just use a $100 tablet to stream high quality games? There are already clients now like Moonstream that are compatible with iOS and Android. Yes, today you can play Overwatch on your phone if you wanted to.

This technology is still in its infant stage, so it is still too expensive for most people to buy into just yet. But I’m excited to see how cloud streaming will innovate the industry.

Intune: MAM Policies For On-Premise Exchange

Mobile application management (MAM) policies are an exciting way to manage devices. It’s a relatively new feature that Microsoft Intune has been featuring for a while now, even calling the process “no enrollment management.” That’s because the best part about MAM management is that users do not have to enroll their device. With the Microsoft ecosystem, when a user authenticates into a compatible Microsoft MAM-enabled mobile app, the MAM policies will automatically kick in, without the user having to do anything else. Mobile apps like Outlook can be protected to require PIN, prevent copy-paste, and even be completely wiped from a device without impacting any personal data.

Before this month, there was a huge catch with Intune MAM. It was only possible for companies utilizing Exchange Online. As of this month however, Microsoft has made MAM policies available for on-premises Exchange mailboxes. They released a blog post this month proposing the next steps and how they expect it to work:

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/exchange/2018/04/02/a-new-architecture-for-exchange-hybrid-customers-enables-outlook-mobile-and-security/

Requirements:

  1. Exchange on-premises setup. Exchange Server 2016 and 2013 supported. All other versions of Exchange must be completely removed from the environment.
  2. Active Directory Synchronization. Active Directory synchronization of the entire on-premises directory with Azure Active Directory, via Azure AD Connect.
  3. Exchange hybrid setup: Requires full hybrid relationship between Exchange on-premises with Exchange Online.
  4. Intune setup: Both cloud-only and hybrid deployments of Intune are supported (MDM for Office 365 is not supported).
  5. Office 365 licensing
  6. EMS licensing