New Windows Intune Release Expands Mobile-Device Management

Managing an entire organization’s IT network can be a daunting task for a small team — and certainly for one person. This is especially true for a team that has to manage desktops in branch or remote offices.

Microsoft launched its cloud-based IT management solution last year, rolling in help desk functionality, remote support and antivirus protections in one easy-to-use product.

This all-in-one solution makes Windows Intune a great fit for companies with limited IT resources, companies with field workers, companies deploying a BYOD initiative and companies that do frequent mergers and acquisitions.

And it’s about to get even better. Eric Main, director of product marketing for Windows Intune, shared some of the new features slated for the next version of Windows Intune on the Windows Blog.

Mobile Device Management

The next release of Windows Intune will integrate with Windows Server Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange Server, allowing IT to manage the many devices brought into the workplace, even if they’re not owned by the organization. IT will also be able to use Windows Intune to set security policies for mobile devices and enforce password protection, encryption and even kick off a remote wipe if a device is compromised. Windows Intune’s mobile device management will support any device with Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync capabilities, including Windows Phone, iOS and Android.

People Centric Management

Like Office 365, the next release will offer the ability to manage user accounts with accounts created in the Windows Azure Active Directory, so that IT can provide users with software personalized to their role, ensuring they have the tools they need to be productive. IT will also be able to link onsite Windows Server Active Directory to the Windows Azure Active Directory service so that user accounts and security groups can be synchronized with Windows Intune, allowing IT to easily manage users and devices.

Company Portal

Windows Intune will offer a self-service, customizable Company Portal that is simple to create and will allow IT to provide employees with the apps and tools they need to stay productive. IT can target the portal to user profiles and employees can access it through a range of mobile devices including Windows PCs, iOS and Android devices. This enables IT to post apps that users might want to use, rather than push out to their PCs. When a user arrives at the portal they will see all of the available apps ready for download. As with previous releases, the next release of Windows Intune will include upgrade rights to the latest version of Windows as part of the monthly subscription. This enables IT to standardize on the most up-to-date version of the OS, reducing costs while keeping Windows-based PCs up-to-date and secure from virtually anywhere.

Has your organization deployed Windows Intune?

Credit: Microsoft