Microsoft is offering a 30-day free trial of Windows Intune, its subscription-based single solution that lets IT managers manage all their devices together in the cloud.
Microsoft's plans for a simpler way to manage cloud-based devices are based on extending System Center Configuration Manager to work alongside Windows Intune as a single unified management system.
The combination will let companies manage PCs, laptops, Windows RT tablets and Windows Phone 8, alongside non-Microsoft devices such as Androids and iOS. The location of the devices to be managed could be in either private or public clouds. Microsoft says it is supporting the management of other operating systems as a way for IT organizations to crack the bring-your-own-device challenge.
Windows Intune is Microsoft’s web-based management and security system. It lets you manage updates and service packs for PCs, set security policies, manage protection from malware, and fix problems with devices remotely as outlined in this video:
A new version of Intune was launched in December and added the ability to manage Windows Phone 8 devices, Windows RT and Windows 8. Until now this new version has been limited to new users, and existing users will get access to the update in February.
The combination of System Center Configuration Manager and Intune is being described as part of Microsoft ‘Cloud OS’, the re-invention of everything Microsoft produces from its Server and Tools division as a single overall brand. Cloud OS is being used as the description for Windows Azure, Windows Server, System Center, SQL Server and Visual Studio. For developers, the most useful aspect of System Center Configuration Manager and Intune is the fact that both offer a way to add corporate apps to Windows and Windows RT mobile devices. A company can use the Company Portal app (available from the Windows Store) to put together a set of custom line-of-business apps that business users can then install on their devices.