Microsoft released a second public beta of Windows Intune on July 12, and broadened the pool of testers to 10,000 mid-market-focused customers and partners.
Windows Intune is a combination of software and a cloud service for managing Windows PCs that formerly was known as System Center Online Desktop Manager (SCODM). Microsoft made available a first beta of Intune in April 2010 and said to expect the final version to be out by mid-2011. The new Intune delivery target is early 2011, according to a new "Windows for Your Business" blog post, published on July 12.)
Intune will cost $11 per seat, per month, which includes the management service, as well as Windows 7 Enterprise upgrade rights. For $1 per user per month more, Microsoft will also provide the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack of on-premises tools as part of the bundle.
At the company's Worldwide Partner Conference, officials said the second beta would be available to participants in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, UK, and Italy. The second beta includes a new feature known as the Multi-Account Console, enabling partners manage multiple accounts via a single Web-based console.
Microsoft also is releasing, as expected, a public beta of Windows 7 Service Pack (SP) 1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 on July 12, company officials said at the conference. SP1 for the client will be comprised of fixes; the server SP1 version adds a couple of new features along with the fixes. Both versions of SP1 are expected to be released before the end of this year, though Microsoft officials have not made this date official.