Microsoft is ready to take the wraps off a beta of the next release of its Windows Intune PC management service, according to some of my tipsters.
Next week -- the week of July 11 -- is Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference. I'm hearing the beta of Intune 2.0 will likely be announced there. Windows Intune is one of Microsoft's cloud services that provides IT pros with PC management and security for $11 per seat per month. There are two components to Windows Intune 1.0 (which was codenamed "Florida"): On-premises Windows and Windows management tools, plus an online management and security service. Windows Intune evolved from a Microsoft project known as System Center Online Desktop Manager (SCODM).
Microsoft released version 1 of Windows Intune in March 2011. It manages and secures Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 PCs. Windows Intune works over the cloud like Windows Update and Microsoft Update, but users don’t need on-site infrastructure, as updates are delivered directly to any of their managed PCs that have an Internet connection, Microsoft officials have said.
So what's coming in Intune V2? One of my contacts said third-party patch support will be part of the new version.
"There will no longer be just Windows Patch support which is what the current version has," said my contact, who asked to remain anonymous.
Microsoft has been seeking customer input on what IT managers with more than 5,000 PCs would like to see in future versions of Windows Intune. The Softies have been looking for companies "that may be involved in activities that include keeping PCs secure and up to date, distributing software applications, managing mobile devices, performing data backup and restore, and monitoring PC health, to name a few."
In the longer term, Microsoft also is looking at how to add mobile support to Windows Intune, but I'm not hearing that V2 will include any mobile-management/security capabilities.
I asked Microsoft officials about the timing and feature set for Windows Intune V2 and was told the company had no comment.
I'll be at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles all next week, so if there's more revealed about Windows Intune there, I'll report in.