Windows Intune launches: cloud brings enterprise management to the masses

Windows Intune launches tune up

Microsoft has made Windows Intune, its cloud-based management service bundled with Windows 7, commercially available as of March 23. Offered as a subscription, the release makes it easier for midsize IT leaders to function at enterprise levels by leveraging the cloud.

Intune is the successor to the never-released Microsoft project known as System Center Online Desktop Manager (SCODM). The service, which launched to a beta of 1,000 companies last April, is expected to cost $11 per seat, per month, including management service, as well as Windows 7 Enterprise upgrade rights. For $1 per user per month, customers get the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack of on-premises tools as part of the bundle.

Midsize feeling “out of tune”

The move comes as many IT professionals expect Intune to transform the way businesses manage their “distributed assets.” As a cloud-based management tool,  it brings enterprise functionality to the masses, including patching, antivirus, malware, remote control, and augmenting the management of mobile assets.

A common issue these days, especially with midsize organizations, is that IT leaders have limited control or resources for their assets. With other business-driven priorities and limited resources to select, deploy, and maintain systems, coupled with ever increasing security threats and environmental changes, many organizations are feeling, excuse me, “out of tune”.

The Windows 7 Enterprise upgrade provided with the subscription gives organizations a standardized environment, which has tangible benefits beyond security and management, and provides users with the best possible Windows experience. Intune then delivers cloud-based management and security capabilities that are administered through a simple web-based console, which enables management of PCs from virtually anywhere.

I think that it is fantastic that organizations of all sizes can now get enterprise class management and security functionality, without the hassle and up-front investment that comes with an on-site deployment. Windows Intune does not even rely on Microsoft Active Directory to organize the managed computers. Regardless of a computer’s domain membership, you are free to organize its group membership in Windows Intune however it works for you.

Subscription

Windows Intune is available via an annual subscription, though payments are made monthly. While you can cancel at any time, there is an early termination fee for subscriptions that are cancelled before the end of the one-year term.

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About Andrea Knoblauch

Andrea is one of Softchoice's Security Architects.

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